Monday, February 28, 2011

Preparations for our Georgia Wine Tour

This Saturday, I had the pleasure of sampling some wines from our beloved state of Georgia. We wanted to do a scouting tour of the wineries, to prepare for the upcoming TWITs trip.

For information on all of the wineries in Georgia, click HERE, and then select "wine" from the menu.
We visited Three Sisters Vineyards, Frogtown, and Wolf Mountain. The other 2 wineries are Blackstock and Montaluce, but we did not have time to visit those Saturday.

Three Sisters Vineyards
Tastings were $15 for 6 tastings, and you get to keep the wine glass (with their logo), OR you can taste 3 for $5 (but do not get to keep the glass and the tasting selection is different). I sampled the following wines for $15:
1. 2006 Pinot Blanc - straw, clear color, clean/green nose, stone fruit & honey palate. This dry white wine is $14.00/bottle
2. 2006 Vidal Blanc - golden color, clear, light on the nose, has pausing legs, citrus, apple on the finish. This dry white wine is $14.00/bottle.
3. 2006 Merlot - brick red color, pine nose, vanilla, butterscotch palate. berries and some spice, smooth. This dry red wine is $25.00/bottle.
4. 2006 Cynthiana - (my fave!). we were instructed to take a few sips, then take a bite of dark chocolate, and sip again. the chocolate brings out the black cherry flavor, also hints of cinnamon and spice. Delish! This dry red wine runs $28.00/bottle. NOTE: Cynthiana (also called Norton) is a varietal specific to the South. read more HERE.
5. Cabernet Franc (53%)/Merlot (47%) blend - nose is rich, very dry, cedar-wood scent, clear red, tart, berry, and hint of chocolate. $25.00/bottle.
6. Fat Boy Red - (blend of Cynthiana, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot), this off-dry red runs $15.00/bottle.
BONUS tasting of their "jug wine" which was a mystery blend of 2 reds and 1 white wine. Interesting concept, and I was not blown away by it. Later we joked that it was the spit/jar wine. anyhoo, the Three Sisters Red wines have definitely improved since my first taste of them 6 years ago.
Other wines available, but that I did not try yet, were:
Chestatee White, Chestatee Red, Fat Boy White, Chestatee Rose, Blood Mountain Red, Walasiyi White, Hula Hula Kahiki (white), and Peachtree Dance.
Frogtown Vineyards
You could choose from a Red Wine Tasting $15 for 9 wine tastings, or White (same amount/tastings), and perhaps another option, but I went straight for the Reds (you know me, I like the reds!).
I sampled:
1. 2006 Sangiovese ($18.99/bottle) - delicate cherry, raspberry nose, fruity/earthly finish.
2. 2008 Frogtown Audacity ($25.99/bottle) - blend of Sangiovese (55%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (45%). More intense fruit and complexity than the Sangiovese alone. Cherry flavors, and complete palate from premium rip Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Silver Medal Winner at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
3. 2006 Frogtown Touche' ($21.99/bottle) - blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Tannat (pronounded "tuh-NOT" - I kept saying 'To Be or Tannat" as my personal private joke of the day, nobody laughed though). ripe cherry, dark berry, and spice with vanilla and tobacco. 2010 Gold Medal winner of Long Beach Gran Cru Wine Competition.
4. 2006 Frogtown Cabernet Sauvingnon ($29.99/bottle) - reminds the owners of a Bordeaux Medoc wine, notes of chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherry fruits, wonderful finish.
5. 2006 Cabernet Franc ($29.99/bottle) - BIG Cab Franc with ripe blackberry aromas, flavor, and classic spicy nuances.
6. Frogtown Shotgun, First Reload ($24.95/bottle) - this was one of my favorites. Two vintage blend of 2005 Tannat and 2006 Touriga National, Shotgun is a big, bold, yet supple red wine. Bright fruity flavors on the pallet, develop into an intense chewy ripe finish, Gold Medal winner at 2010 San Diego International Wine Competition in March 2010.
7. 2006 Frogtown Tannat ($29.99/bottle) - MY FAVE - huge earthy black fruit with black pepper spice accents, delivers an "in your face" meat-taming wine, a fave among their "frogofiles" also Silver Medal winner at 2010 San Diego Int'l Wine Competition.
8. Frogtown Convergence ($27.99/bottle) - first wine blended with grapes outside of Frogtown, contains Cabernet and Malbec grapes from Russian River, Sonoma County, CA (66%) and Cabernet Franc grapes from Frogtown (34%). I say it was decent, but I still prefer their Tannat.
I went home with a bottle of Sangiovese and the Tannat. Mmmmmmm!
Wolf Mountain Vineyards
We were invited originally to a dinner and christening of their new Sparkling Wine Cellar. We made a day of it in the mountains, and ended up here for a tasting prior to the dinner.
I had the Reserve Tasting Flight - $20/8 tastings.
1. Blanc De Blancs Brut ($25.95/bottle) , light bread flavor, hints of citrus, spice notes, crisp acidity, this is their signature sparkling wine.
2. Vintner's Reserve Brut Rose ($27.95/bottle) - made by adding their reserve Claret, to produce a light salmon color, red berry flavors and delicate citrus, crisp acidity.
3. Plentitude ($19.95/bottle) - French for "all the best" - blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. beautiful citrus and grapefruit notes with crisp refreshing finish.
4. Claret ($27.95/bottle) - blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvedre, hints of mushroom, tobacco, black currant, with robust tannin finish.
5. Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($47.95/bottle) - rich black current fruit, dark chocolate and vanilla notes. MY FAVE of this winery.
I decided to do 3 more tastings of the Private Reserve Cabernet, as opposed to trying the other 3 wines. Although I will document them here for your reading pleasure:
--Sparkling Demi-sec ($23.95/bottle), medium-dry sparkling wine, delicate fruit flavors of chardonnay grapes.
--Chanteloup (French for "Song of the Wolf") - ($23.95/bottle) - full-bodied white wine blend of Chardonnay and Viognier. notes of Melon and apricots with a softer finish.
--Delicieux (French for "Delightful) - ($37.95/bottle) - port style, red dessert wine, expresses wonderful balance of dark berry flavors, tannins, sweetness, and alcohol.
My personal verdict, is that Frogtown had the BEST Red Wines for my palate. I preferred theirs to all the other wineries Reds. Although Wolf Mountain's Private Reserve Cabernet was a close contender. YUM!

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyable overview of Georgia wineries. Since you mentioned Three Sister's unique Cynthiana (Norton) wine, I have a different approach article suggestion: Why not compare Georgia's eight varietal produced Norton wines? Boutier Winery - Danielsville, GA; Cartecay Vineyard - Ellijay, GA; Castell Family Vineyard (*Opening 2011) - Dawsonville, GA; Cavender Creek Vineyard - Dahlonega, GA; Crane Creek Vineyards - Young Harris, GA; Frogtown Cellars - Dahlonega, GA; Three Sisters Vineyards - Dahlonega, GA; and Tiger Mountain Vineyards Tiger, GA. To date there are 3 Norton wineries in Alabama, 6 in Arkansas, Florida has 1, Louisiana 2, NC 5, and Tennessee 12. I will not tell you our favorite Georgia Norton, but after tasting 105 Nortons throughout the South and Mid West, our favorite "Southern" Nortons so far have been White Oaks (AL), Mount Bethel (AR), Elk Creek (KY), and Century Farms (TN).