Frog's Leap Rutherford Merlot 2016
In 2005, when the movie Sideways hit and took its swipe at varietal wines made from Merlot, it changed the way many people think of this grape. One is tempted to blame the fickleness of the American public, but in truth, Merlot wines had it coming — change was necessary. Almost a decade (and several foreign language versions) later, I think that Sideways may have saved Merlot and ruined Pinot Noir – how’s that for irony?!
Merlot done properly produces arguably the rarest, finest and potentially most expensive red wines in the world. It is in my opinion the most difficult variety to grow, and right up there with Pinot as the most difficult red wine to make. That is why when Merlot became so popular in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, it became so abused. New winemakers did not always appreciate this, planted the grape wherever and tried to make it like Cabernet with training wheels – destined to produce plonk.
Merlot is a vigorous variety that needs very specific cool clay soils to slow its growth in order to develop its subtle red fruit aromas and its luxurious silky flavors. In Napa Valley, which is largely a system of alluvial fans, where gravelly, well drained, warm soils predominate, perfect for Cabernet but disastrous for Merlot. One needs (much like in Bordeaux) to find the rare, perfect soil for Merlot to even have a chance to produce excellent wine.
In the cellar, Merlot must be treated with great delicacy, much like Pinot and it is always best when not blended with black fruited varieties like Cabernet sauvignon or franc. Planted in the right soil, farmed with respect and made with baby’s care, Merlot can make exquisite wine. Rare, fine, age-able and absolutely perfect where the cuisine requires a wine of subtlety and strength. Frog’s Leap is dedicated to this task.
Notes by John Williams, Owner and Winemaker, Frog's Leap
As we are retail stockists, selling from our Ledston shop as well as online, it makes it difficult for us to show a 'real-time' inventory of our wines and spirits online. As such, very occasionally, a wine may be out of stock that the website has allowed you to order.
To ensure a timely delivery, we are happy to substitute your order with a similar wine of equal or higher value and at no additional cost to you! If this is not an acceptable solution please advise us in the 'Special Instructions' at the checkout.
We endeavour to display accurate and current vintages on all our wines listed on the website; however, from time to time stocks of the vintage listed do become exhausted. If this is the case with your order we will always contact you to recommend another vintage of the same wine, if it is still available. If the vintage of a wine is important to you then please either 'ASK A QUESTION' or leave us a message in the 'Special Instructions' at checkout.
*** Latest Delivery Information Please Read ***
Customer satisfaction is at the heart of our business and we know that getting your wine delivered safely, securely and on-time is a fundamental part of that process. We are extremely proud of our delivery service and are confident that you will be happy with our service. All our wine packaging utilises the industry leading inflatable Air-Pack System (100% recyclable) so that you can be guaranteed your wine order is packaged in one of the safest and most reliable transit packaging solutions and providing you with complete peace-of-mind.
- We aim to fulfil all wine orders with 10 working days from the date of placing your order, but this is often much sooner. You can contact us to request a specific date and time for your delivery if you choose.
- Our Standard Delivery is FREE for all UK Mainland orders with a value over £150.00
- All orders below £150.00 are charged £9.99 per consignment to a single UK Mainland address. NB: Our Standard UK Mainland Delivery does not provide a service to parts of the Scottish Islands & Highlands, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Wright, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. For all orders placed outside the UK Mainland we will contact you following placement of an order to agree shipment details and charges for which an additional invoice will be raised.
- Single Bottle Orders are delivered using a Royal Mail Signed For Service and charged £6.00 per order.
- Our Standard Deliveries are made during normal business hours Monday to Friday. To ensure prompt delivery someone must be present to sign for the consignment; however, we do accept special delivery instructions at the point of order if you want your order to be left in a safe place or with a neighbour.
- Deliveries should be signed for as ‘Not Examined’ and you should inspect the goods as soon as possible and notify us immediately of any breakages or shortages.
- Claims for breakages will only be allowed if you notify us within 7 days after delivery.
- You must retain breakages and accompanying packaging for examination by us or our agent if required.
- Please be aware that multi-case orders can become separated through the courier network. If you do not receive the balance of your order within 3 working days of the first delivery please contact us.
- Our independence allows us to operate freely within the UK courier network and provide bespoke delivery options for your convenience. If you would like to receive any of our wines from outside of the UK Mainland please contact us for a very competitive quotation to meet your delivery needs.
CLICK & COLLECT IN STORE:
If you would like to place an order online and collect it from our store in Ledston this can be arranged for your convenience. We recommend you contact us beforehand to check that your order requirements are available and to arrange a convenient collection date and time.
- If any wine purchased from us fails, for any reason, to give satisfaction, we will replace, or issue a credit for, that bottle of wine provided that the wine is returned to us within 30 days after the date of delivery. (NB: This excludes Bin End Wines & Products described as non-returnable)
- Any order placed for goods (to be delivered) may be cancelled within 14 working days of your receipt of the goods. A full refund will be offered provided the goods remain in a saleable condition and that the request to cancel is received in writing.
- You can inform us you want to cancel your order by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, by post, by printing off the model cancellation form and posting it to Hic! Wine Merchants, 23 Main Street, Ledston, Castleford, WF10 2AB.
- If you decide to cancel, you should return the goods to us at your cost within 14 days of such cancellation.
- A charge of £10 will be payable for collections made by us.
- We may make a deduction from the reimbursement for loss in value of any goods supplied, if the loss is the result of unnecessary handling by you.
- Any cancelled order will be refunded to the purchaser via their original payment method, without undue delay and in any event not later than 14 days from the date upon which we have collected the Goods or you have supplied evidence of having sent back the Goods. The refund will include any outbound delivery costs incurred.
- For your protection we strongly recommend that you use a recorded delivery service to return goods. All goods remain the responsibility of you until they are received by us.