“One Giant Leap.” Frog’s Leap Zinfandel 2015

Know what I’m not doing right now? I’m not running the Brew-2-Brew half marathon in Vero Beach, even though I really wanted to. Being on vacation with a large family and sharing one rental car has its limitations, and my parents wanted to go boating at noon so they needed the car. This is hardly a monumental sacrifice on my part — I’m not even in good enough shape to run a half right now. And hey, since I wasn’t going to be running this morning, I broke out a pretty terrific bottle last night.

We spent most of yesterday at the Kennedy Space Center, which is very worth visiting. We ate a picnic lunch under a Saturn V, rode in a space shuttle simulator, and learned all about the shuttle program. Here are a few pictures for those family members who use this blog to keep up with us:

I think my parents enjoyed themselves as much or more than any of us. It occurred to me yesterday that the “space race” is over, and that Kennedy, which is privately operated and costs fifty dollars a person to enter, is more of a museum, a monument to the past even, than it is an active space center. It made me a little melancholy to consider that all of the incredible accomplishments of exploration and discovery featured at the center had been discontinued for want of funding. It seems pretty short sighted to me.

What isn’t short sighted are the well-documented sustainable practices and respect for the natural environment of Frog’s Leap Winery in Napa. I visited them once and have always respected them as not only a tremendous producer of extraordinary wines but also one that is good to the earth whose fruit it uses to make those wines.

The 2015 Frog’s Leap Zinfandel is truly a beautiful expression of the varietal. A restrained 13.6% ABV, it is an argument against the insanely huge, hot Zinfandel that is so popular amongst some. Blended with 19% Petite Sirah and 2% Carignane, it boasts hints of cedar laced in silky dark cocoa, leathery notes, and an array of rich, deep purple and black fruits with a hint of brightness to them — plums, currants, black cherry, blackberries, and more. Beautiful and complicated, it has a distinct sense of place, and tastes as if aged far longer than it has. The best Zinfandel I’ve had in several years, perhaps.

After dinner, Sonja and I took a walk on the beach, combing for shells. I had a glass of this Zinfandel in my hand and sipped as I searched, carefully keeping it in my left hand as a reminder not to submerge my watch into the water after a conch. This vacation has been such that I don’t want to go home, the experiences, company, relaxation, and wine all existing in elegant, harmonious balance. I’m excited to see what today brings.

Cheers to pioneers and explorers,

Mark

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