Winemaker's Notes


Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Vineyard Update.

To date we have harvested 95.7 tons of wine grapes. All of the white wine grapes have been harvested except for Roussanne. On Saturday, September 25, with the harvest of Tannat, we completed the harvest of all of our Tannat, Touriga, Norton, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot, and Sangiovese. We still have on the vine approximately 40% of our Cabernet Franc and 80% of our Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The total tonnage harvested to date is 95.7 tons. I estimate we have 5 tons of Cabernet Franc, 15 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon, and 2.5 tons of Roussanne left to harvest. If my estimate is fairly accurate, 2010 harvest will result in about 120 tons of wine grapes.

For most of the spring and early summer, we received afternoon showers frequently. I was not pleased. On August 22, 2010, after receiving 4 inches of rain on August 21st, the weather changed materially for the better. From the 22nd of August until the 25th of September, we received ONLY about an inch of rain during this 33 day period (most of it on September 11). From September 17th until September 25th we harvested most of our red grapes.

This change in weather, coupled with extensive thinning of our crop throughout the year resulted in Frogtown achieving the highest Brix level ever for our red grapes. Brix is the measure of soluble solids (sugar represents over 95% of such solids). Merlot measured 25.4 Brix, Sangiovese 23.9 Brix, Petit Verdot 24.8 Brix, Malbec 24.2 Brix, Norton 25.2 Brix, Touriga 25.5 Brix, and Tannat 25.3 Brix. It takes approximately 22.5 Brix to produce wine having a 12.5% alcohol level. While the French do not desire to make wine having an alcohol content higher than 12.5%, new world premium wine makers customarily desire alcohol levels from 13% to 14%. With the sugar levels achieved this year, we reach the 13% to 14% level without the need to chaptalize (adding sugar to grape juice before fermentation for the sole purpose of increasing the resulting alcohol level in the finished wine). In most wine making regions of the world adding sugar BEFORE fermentation is not prohibited.

Today, it is September 28th and the weather is beautiful. It rained a total of 3.25 inches on the 26th and 27th of September. The weatherman promises rainless days for the next 10 days so we will just let the remaining fruit hang until the level of maturity is what we want.

Winery Update.

As soon as harvest is completed, I plan on bottling a number of club wines, including (i) a varietal 2008 Touché, (ii) a West Coast East Coast Malbec, (iii) a West Coast East Coast Chardonnay, and (iii) a varietal 2009 Petit Verdot. We will also complete and bottle most of our 2008 red wines and our 2009 white wines. On November 12, 2010, we will release Compulsion, the East Coast West Coast answer to Convergence.

Gold in California and Finger Lakes Wine Competitions. For the first time ever we received three GOLD medals for RED wine in California. Shot Gun, First Reload won Gold at San Diego International, the 2006 Frogtown Touché and the 2006 Frogtown Norton won Gold at Long Beach Gran Cru competition. Also, significantly, 2008 Audacity won Silver at the San Francisco International Competition. The 2008 Chardonnay won Silver at Long Beach and a Bronze at San Francisco. It is a significant achievement for any winery to receive a medal in California for Chardonnay (the land of Chardonnay).

As an Attachment to this e-mail you will find a list of major competition medals received this year. We still have the Jefferson Cup competition, an invited competition, scheduled for November of this year.

September 11th Harvest Day for Citizens

Experience Harvest with Craig was a rewarding day for me, as I was able to spend a whole day with a number of our Citizens, harvesting, wine tasting at the bar (with my full commentary on each of our wines presently on the tasting lists), barrel tasting in the wine cellar, and finally at dinner. Thank you Citizens that participated in this event which resulted in a $350.00 contribution to Children of the
Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund in memory of our fellow Americans who lost their lives during the horrific events on September 11th in New York City.

On-line access for our Citizens.

For those Citizens who have not established your on-line access
to our website please use the following directions:

You can use our website to update your Citizens information, to order wine or to view our Calendar of Events.

To log in to your account, visit “Shop” on the home page at the end of the red banner. There is a box on the lower right hand side that says: “WINE CLUB LOGIN”. Go down to where it says Secure Login and click there. Now you will need to login. Log in using your Citizens number. If you don’t know your Citizens number you can use the box entitled HELP on the left to recover your information or you can email Cydney and she will send it to you.

The password is frogtown.

You will then be logged in to the secure wine shop where you can modify your profile, view your previous orders and order wine OF COURSE!!!

To check on upcoming events click on “Calendar” in the red banner. You can view all upcoming events.

As Citizens, please make sure to check our calendar, from time to time, for events specifically intended for Citizens.

We have just scheduled a Citizens “Cellar Rat” day at Frogtown on November 13th in conjunction with our Dinner on that night. Please check the calendar to find out more information about Cellar Rat day.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines or white and red wines, the following two red wines are included in your shipment:

2006 FROGTOWN SANGIOVESE – As I indicated above under the vineyard update, we have another year of superior Sangiovese. This makes four years in a row (excluding 2007 when we lost all of our Sangiovese to a frost) that we have harvested what I consider very good to superior Sangiovese. Cydney has reminded me on a number of occasions how I struggled with growing Sangiovese in the first four years of the vineyard. There is no substitute for the experience you gain growing vinifera on the Dahlonega plateau. I am just elated that we have Sangiovese in our vineyards. We selected the “Brunello Clone” Sangiovese de Grosso in choosing our vines in 1999. Little did I know this is probably the most difficult Clone of Sangiovese to grow in humid conditions. A distinct feature of the Brunello Clone is the large berry and clusters it produces. We have weighed Sangiovese clusters that were over a pound. In Tuscany, as in Dahlonega, the weather conditions and canopy management must give Sangiovese the utmost sun penetration and yields must be strictly regulated depending on the climactic conditions of the growing year.

The 2006 Frogtown Sangiovese has improved in the bottle by gaining weight and complexity. This 2006 Sangiovese is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Franc. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99

2005 FROGTOWN PROPAGANDA –2005 Frogtown Propaganda contains 65% Merlot and 35% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Not much I can say to those of you who have enjoyed a bottle of this wine in the past. I rate this Vintage of Propaganda as the third best red wine ever produced by Frogtown (I rate the 2004 Kritzer Family Reserve Cabernet our number one rated release and the 2002 Frogtown Propaganda as our number two rated release). If you have a different opinion, I would love for you to share your opinion with me. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $33.99 – the original release price.

I have some additional cases of 2005 Propaganda for sale now solely for our Citizens.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines, we are including in this shipment the following:

2006 FROGTOWN TOUCHE – getting the Gold Medal this year for our 2006 Frogtown Touché was very rewarding. For the price of this bottle, which has not increased since the first Touché was made in 2001, Touché has been and hopefully will continue to be the best buy at Frogtown. I take special care in blending this wine. I have more “trial” blends with Touché each year than any other wine we make. The inclusion of four different grapes in this wine assists tremendously in my ability to make a recognizable “Touché” each year. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $21.99

For those Citizens who are receiving red and white wines, we are including in this shipment the following:

2008 FROGTOWN STEEL CHARDONNAY – Before harvest, Empire Distributors, called and asked me to include our Steel Chardonnay as one of our distributed wines. I could not be more pleased, as I was contemplating whether or not I should continue to make two separate Chardonnays. So “Steel” is saved by the Distributor. We have fermented a Steel Chardonnay this year and will continue to do so each year thereafter. This French Chablis-like wine is cold fermented resulting in a remarkably rich and round white wine notwithstanding the absence of oak and malolatic fermentation. Un-oaked Chardonnays are more food friendly than the more ubiquitous barrel fermented Chardonnays.
Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $19.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving all white wines, in addition to the 2008 Frogtown Steel Chardonnay described immediately above, we are including in this shipment the following two wines:

2008 FROGTOWN CHARDONNAY – this is a special bottle of Chardonnay. It is the BEST barrel fermented Chardonnay bottled to date. My tasting notes on this wine read as follows: Fermented in 100% new oak (70% French and 30% tight grain North Central American) this Chardonnay is complex, rich and layered. The front palette and nose consists of citrus flavors with hints of apple and pear. The mid palette adds soft nuances of melon and fig and well integrated rich creamy oak flavors. This great Chardonnay has a long round supple finish with clinging acidity that adds to the enjoyment of chicken, fish, cheese, pasta, and salad pairings. Major Silver medal at Long Beach, CA Gran Cru 2010 Wine Competition and Bronze medal at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $24.99.

2008 FROGTOWN VINEAUX BLANC – Similar to entering a Chardonnay in a California completion is the entering of a Seyval based wine in the Finger Lakes Wine Competition, a major East Coast Competition. Seyval is virtually not grown in the West. However, on the East Coast Seyval is grown in every viticultural area. Up against a substantial amount of Seyval wines, winning a Gold Medal, as our 2008 Vineaux Blanc did, at the Finger Lakes competition is also very gratifying. My tasting notes on this wine read as follows: Seyval Blanc and Viognier are fermented in Steel andOak barrels. This bright crisp white wine is a refreshing combination of pineapple, citrus with a touch of toast. A small portion of the wine is put through malolatic fermentation. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $14.99

DINNING AT THE FOUR SEASON’S PARK 75 RESTAURANT – A week ago, Cydney and I enjoyed a bottle of 2006 Frogtown Touché at the Four Seasons Hotel on 14th Street in Atlanta. This hotel is Atlanta’s only five-star, five-diamond luxury hotel. We feel very fortunate to have our Touché and Vineaux Blanc on the wine menu. The food was excellent and compared to restaurants we have dined at recently in Atlanta, New York, and Las Vegas, very reasonable. Please give this restaurant a visit and enjoy dining in a restaurant with great food and atmosphere with a bottle of Frogtown wine.

Best to all,


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