måndag 25 juli 2011

Frogtown Cellars

Our last stop on the Dahlonega Wine Trail was Frogtown Cellars. It also sits on top of a ridge, with a great mountain view. It has a nice bar for tasting, and also a great deck where you can grab a hot sandwich for lunch. This is also the place where our tasting got more serious. I had never been here before, but Lisa assured me that these were the best wines, so we opted for their premium tasting, both white and red. In total we got to taste 19 different wines, so I will not bore you with comments on every single one, but just give you the highlights, from my perspective.

We started with the whites, and one of my favorites was the 2008 Frogtown Chardonnay. It is fruity with both citrus and apples, but also nicely rounded with creamy but not overpowering oak. I also liked the 2009 Frogtown Inclination. This is a mix of the grapes Chardonnay, Viognier and Vidal, which has fermented in French oak barrels. It is the type of full-bodied, flavorful white wine that I really like. You get toasted bread, along with fresh citrus, apples and pears. My third favorite was the 2008 Frogtown Viognier. This Rhône grape seem to do well in the Georgia foothills, and delivers a wonderful fruit mix of peach, melon, and a hint of honey.

Now over to the reds. The first one out was 2008 Frogtown Sangiovese, and that provided an excellent start. You get wonderful tart cherries and some raspberries, and you almost think you are in Tuscany. I also liked the 2008 Frogtown Norton. This uniquely American grape, which is called Cynthiana down the hill at Three Sisters, is very generous with big and somewhat sweet berry flavors, and it almost reminds me of an Italian Amarone. Frogtowns version is very good. The best wine of the day though, was hands-down the 2006 Frogtown Family Reserve Merlot. This is a full-bodied, smooth, balanced wine with dark fruit and some hints of chocolate. It was ridiculously expensive too, but I had to have a bottle with me to Sweden. Wines are the only souvenirs I need.

We took a quick break in the tasting to grab lunch on the deck, with the nice mountain view. Then we came back to the bar for dessert, that is dessert wine. The white, called 2006 Frogtown Cachet, is an "icewine" made from Vidal grapes, but it was not up my alley. I liked the 2008 Frogtown Grandeur a lot better. It is a port-style sweet red wine, made from 100% Tannat grapes. I had to buy two bottles.

We also got a chance to taste one wine that was not even on the list. It is called 2008 Frogtown Propaganda, and it is a traditional Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was really good, so now I am very happy that I already have a 2005 Propaganda in the cellar, a gift from my wife a few years ago, when she was visiting Atlanta on her own.

We were guided through the tasting by Chauna Utterback. She did an excellent job, and the banter across the bar counter was just as entertaining as the wines. You can see from the photo above that she takes her job very seriously. Thank you Chauna! We promise to come back, despite the somewhat long trip from Stockholm.


3 kommentarer:

TNWT sa...

I'm glad you got to try the Norton wine from a truly American grape. There are now 244 wineries in 23 states producing Norton [Cynthiana] wines located mainly in the Southeastern and Mid-Western states. In your travels if you get to try this wine again remember that this wine needs to generally age for five or more years and needs to breathe extensively before enjoying, something you will not get to do at a winery tasting. There are some nice Norton blends that let you enjoy the essence of the Norton grape without the extended againg. We've tasted over 100 Norton examples so far and have cases patiently waiting for us to open. We are just now opening Norton wines from 2003-2004. Wonderful!

Putte sa...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion for the Norton grape. I have a 2001 Three Sisters Cynthiana in the cellar that I am now eager to try. Do you know why the grape goes by both Norton and Cynthiana?

TNWT sa...

A recent study done at Florida A&M has narrowed down the parentage. Parker, Bordollo, and Colova published a paper in Acta Horticulturae in 2009 that states, based on DNA analysis, that V. aestivalis, V. labrusca, and V. vinifera are all involved in the parentage of Norton. The vinifera cultivar is ‘Chasselas’. The researchers also discovered that PD resistance is derived from V. aestivalis. They also found that Norton and Cynthiana are genetically identical, ergo, they are the same cultivar. ~ Dr. Eric Staphne, Ok. State Univ. 12-1-2010