This is one of those mouthwatering wines that, with each sip, heightens your anticipation of the next one. Frog’s Leap’s Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a California classic that attained iconic status long ago and, based on the 2018 vintage, shows no sign of losing ground.
This wine was the first made by Frog’s Leap almost four decades ago, and has remained the flagship offering of the family-owned winery in Napa’s Rutherford district. That’s for good reason: It would be hard to confuse Frog’s Leap’s Sauvignon with just about any other from Napa, the rest of California, or elsewhere.
As with all of Frog’s Leap’s wines, the grapes are grown using organic methods and are dry farmed, meaning no irrigation is used. Additionally, as Frog’s Leap notes on its website, “the wine is still made from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes, farmed in such a way as to keep the alcohol low, the acidity high, and the flavors crisp, refreshing and complex.”
Alcohol is listed at a modest 12.7 percent, a sharp contrast with some Napa Sauvignons that come in as high as 14.5 percent. And yet the wine has a wonderful balanced complexity, achieved with techniques such as brief skin contact and lees aging, but without the use of oak.
That complexity includes notes of melon and green apple, hints of fresh oregano and ginger, and a burst of lime on the long, mineral-textured finish. There’s just a touch of the “grassiness” that defines so many Sauvignon Blancs.
The wine is made for all kinds of seafood and vegetable dishes, and is also great on its own as an aperitif. It’s widely available, too: Wine-Searcher lists an average price of $25, with many stores offering it for less.
The founder of Frog’s Leap, John Williams, writes that “in too many California cellars Sauvignon Blanc is a second-class citizen, an innocuous white wine to fill out the cellar and generate some cash flow.” On the contrary, Frog’s Leap’s Sauvignon Blanc is worthy of the spotlight.