2017 Frog’s Tooth Alicante Bouschet – A Serendipitous Offering
A mix up with a vineyard proved to a great thing for Frog’s Tooth Winery located in Murphys, California in the Sierra Foothills. They were expected to get close to two tons of fruit from a small vineyard in Healdsburg, California (Sonoma Valley). Instead they received less than a half of ton of grapes. They originally decide to use it for blending. They used 100% new French oak barrels. Processed it using cold maceration or a cold soak was used pre-fermentation. This provided a richer color and more fruit forward flavor. As it developed, they regrouped and opted to sell it as a standalone 100% varietal wine. Unfortunately this only allowed them to produce 24 cases of this spectacular wine! Rather than label the bottle, they silkscreened the bottle to further highlight it as special product.
This wine was almost “black” in the glass with a high viscosity. On the nose and palate, ripe plum, licorice, a black cherry/fig compote and tobacco element were very present. The finish provided a strong earthiness and mineral residue which lasted some time. This gave this wine an “old world feel” in the mouth. Will Houle, the winemaker, in my humble opinion, just made his best wine! It is avaialbe for $75.
Now if you can’t secure it quickly as they will sell out from the tasting room, have no fear as they have secured an Alicante Bouschet vineyard in the Sierra foothills for the next release. By the way, Frog’s Tooth Winery tasting room will be re-opening on June 12th. Hint: get up there quickly if you want a unique and tasty Alicante Bouschet.
For a complete rundown on Frog’s Tooth Winery, see a previous story at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2019/07/11/frogs-tooth-vineyards-a-big-jump/
Paired this wine with a taco salad this week and it was remarkable.