Sunday, May 23, 2010

Winery Review: Frogtown Cellars

I've been trying to figure out how to review Frogtown Cellars, one of the North Georgia wineries located around Dahlonega. I admit to having had the tasting notes on my desk for a week, all three sheets. Yes, Frogtown has an almost overwhelming array of wines to sample. The question is whether quantity means quality.

Whoops, I'm getting ahead of myself. The basic info is that you can choose one of three tastings. There are seven reds, seven whites, some sweet wines, and a list of "Additional Dry and Dessert," which I'll refer to as the ADD, wines. The options are to choose reds or whites for $12 each, a combined one with a small discount, the sweet wine tasting for $6, and/or additional pours from the ADD wines for $2 each. Confused yet? Basically, they've got whatever you're in the mood to taste.

Hubby and I did the combined red/white tasting with a few extra pours from the ADD list. That ended up being seventeen wines. I'm not going to list my notes on all seventeen, so I'll summarize and hit the high points. All of the wines we tasted were under the Frogtown label. They have a couple of others as well, the Thirteenth Colony and Talking Rock.

Overall, we were disappointed with the whites, which tended to be too light-bodied for our tastes. Yes, I realize that white wines are supposed to be light-bodied, at least the more popular ones, but these were really light. Beginning wine drinkers may disagree. The reds showed much better than the whites with good fruit and overall nice balance. The highlights (for us) are as follows:

From the Whites List:

2006 Vineaux Rosé: dry blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese
It's always nice to find a pink wine that Hubby likes. This one had a "hot" alcohol nose, but nice fruit overall with strawberry and lime. It would be a great back porch wine.
Rating: Very Good

From the Red List:

2008 Audacity: "Super Tuscan Blend" of 55% Sangiovese and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon
Hot cherry nose, but smooth with black cherry and a hint of butter on the finish.
Rating: Very Good

Shotgun, First Reload: 40% Tannat, 40% Touriga Nacional, and 20% Cabernet Franc
Off dry nose. Fruity and chewy with good acidity. Wants salmon.
Rating: Good (but Hubby really liked)

2006 Tannat: 90% Tannat, 10% Cabernet Franc
Nice acidity with good dark fruit and pepper. Would be great with lamb chops.
Rating: Very Good

Convergence: blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec; 66% of the fruit comes from the Russian River Valley (Sonoma County, California) and 34% from Frogtown
Big and savory with rich fruit on the nose and palate. Some berry.
Rating: Very Good to Excellent

From the ADD List:

2006 Cabernet Franc:
Nice and smooth with blackberries and a spicy finish. Hubby decided it wanted food.
Rating: Good to Very Good

2006 Frogtown Family Reserve Merlot:
Berry and cassis with nice fruit/tannin balance.
Rating: Very Good, but not $48.99 good

2006 Frogtown Cabernet Sauvignon:
Berry nose and smooth, round tannins.
Rating: Very Good to Excellent

2008 Frogtown Grandeur: 100% Tannat
This is a dessert wine. The best way to describe it is that it's kind of like a Port, but not as heavy.
Rating: Very Good

The tasting room itself is lovely, and the winery has a restaurant as well as spectacular views:

If you're doing a winery tour, this is an easy one to hit along with Three Sisters, which is just over the hill, and Blackstock, which is very close as well. We did come home with a few bottles, the Ros̩, Audacity, Shotgun РFirst Reload (which Hubby liked better than I did), and Grandeur. They kept company with the Wolf Mountain wine club shipment we'd picked up on the way.

As always, check the web site for tasting room hours. If they have a wedding, they offer tastings outside.

I liked this guy, mindfully keeping watch over the tasting room:

The bottom line: Not impressed enough to become a Frogtown Citizen (i.e., join their wine club), but had good ones on their lists. Would like to see them concentrate on making fewer wines and doing them better. Still worth a visit if you're in the area.


Matt Mauldin said...

I'm glad to hear that they now offer a tasting that combines the reds and whites. When I was there in the Fall, they wouldn't let me know combine the two. It really put a damper on my tasting experience.

Hampers said...

I went wine tasting for the first time in April. I had so much fun. I love how pretty all of the properties are.

Andrea Mitchell said...

Hello Cecilia,

We've selected you as our Foodista Wine Blog of the Day for Monday May 31st! Your blog regarding Frogtown Cellars will be featured on the Foodista homepage for 24 hours. This is a new feature that we recently launched and are thrilled to post your blog. Besides posting your link on the homepage, we will also post a couple shout outs on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

Since you are now a part of the Foodista Featured Wine Blogger of The Day Community, we've created a special badge for you to display proudly on your blog sidebar. I couldn't find your email on your blog to send you the access code for the special badge, but I want to make sure you get it if you are interested. Please send me an email and I'll send it right away.

We are really enjoying your blog and look forward to seeing your recipes, tips and techniques on Foodista! If you would not like to be recognized on Foodista please let me know and I will remove your blog from our queue.

Andrea Mitchell
Foodista Social Media

MVineyards said...

Really appreciate that you continue to come up and write about Georgia wineries. It has to be remembered that all wineries make wine from what the land gives them. It is hard work and requires a lot of good fortune. Georgia has come a long way in the last 10 years and will make more progress if people like you continue to come up and try our wines and challenge us to do better.