For decades, it has been our goal to produce a Rutherford AVA, estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon. Inspired by the early Cabernets of Inglenook and Beaulieu Vineyard, we’ve spent the past 20 years finding, farming and obtaining highly sought after land in Rutherford—with particular attention to the Rutherford Bench—to pursue our dream and perfect our craft. It all began with the acquisition of the Red Barn Vineyard in 1994.
This prime real estate provided us with 40 acres of soil perfectly suited to grow Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and a century-old facility in which we would become Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon producers for the first time. Immediately following our move to Rutherford, Frank Leeds—longtime Frog’s Leap Vineyardist—agreed to a partnership between Frog’s Leap and his family’s Chavez Leeds Vineyard. This generational vineyard situated on the iconic Rutherford Bench gave us our first real taste of how complex and connected dry-farmed, organically-grown Cabernet Sauvignon from this storied part of the appellation could be.
Finally, in 2007, we purchased the historic Rossi Vineyard located in the very heart of the Rutherford Bench. This 50 acre vineyard was purchased by the Rossi family in 1906 and is located only a stone’s throw away from the two vineyards that originally inspired us. Now mostly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc the Rossi Vineyard completed the picture by yielding high quality Rutherford grapes for an all estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon to stand with our predecessors.
The harvest of the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes at our Rossi and Chavez-Leeds vineyards began in mid-September. We brought in the lion’s share in the weeks that followed, with the fruit showing remarkable freshness and depth. This 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon shows the blackcurrant fruit, dense palate, and dusty aromas that are classic to a Rutherford Cabernet. But this vintage will always contain something extra for us: a reminder of the deep roots of our vines, and the resiliency of our community here at Frog’s Leap.