MAY ’11 WINEMAKER NOTES

Dear Frogtown Citizen:

From February 27, 2011, the date of my Winemaker Notes accompanying the February shipment until May 4, 2011, Frogtown vineyard experienced somewhat cooler temperatures and more rain than is customary for spring. Bud break was uncharacteristically even (which is good). I was very pleased we did not experience an early frost after bud break.

Mother Nature gave us a very late unwanted surprise. Early in the morning on Thursday, May 5, 2011 we incurred a radiation frost with a low temperature of 29.5 Degrees Fahrenheit and the dew point at 30.5% Fahrenheit. A radiation frost occurs when the winds are less than 5 mph and the sky is clear. With no cloud cover to keep the temperature from radiating upward, the temperature at or near the ground is cooler than the temperature 50 to 100 feet above the ground. Frost occurs when the dew point is equal to or lower than the ambient temperature at or near the ground.

To fight this frost, we built over 50 fires, ran our Wind Machine and operated our Frost Dragon from approximately 4:00am until 7:30am. With all grape varieties having broken bud three to four weeks prior to this frost every grape vine (23,000) in the entire vineyard was exposed to losing new growth leaves and fruit clusters.

As I write these Notes, it appears Frogtown did suffer frost damage to our vines planted on the lowest elevations but not severely. Our frost fighting was much more successful than I envisioned in the early hours of Thursday.

Competition Results Through the Date of These Winemaker Notes.

The 2011 San Diego International Wine Competition results are exceptional. When you consider that all of our SDIWC awarded wines were bottled within four months of the date of this competition, the results are surprisingly exceptional. Robert Whitley, one of America’s premier wine writers and critics (and the Director of the SDIWC) has written a blog on Frogtown dated May 6, 2011. To review this blog please go to winereviewonline.com and see Georgia on My Mind.

The results at the 2011 Finger Lakes Competition reflect the fact the submitted wines, other than the gold medal winning 2008 Frogtown Sangiovese, were generally “in the bottle” for only 6 to 8 weeks prior to this competition. At Frogtown, white wines require 3 to 4 months to “get over” bottle shock and red wines require 4 to 9 months to fully “recover” from the bottling process. We did not want to miss this competition in 2011 so the wines were sent knowing the submitted wines were not at their best for this competition.

Since we did not enter the Dallas Morning Star Competition in 2010 (entry date just got away from us), we submitted a few 2010 competition wines, along with Compulsion. If you go on line and look at the gold medals awarded Chardonnay wines, it will be evident that winning a Gold Medal at Dallas for Chardonnay is a substantial accomplishment. Frogtown 2008 Chardonnay is at its best. Really enjoyed winning this Gold Medal at Dallas.

We just received the results of the Tasters Guild International Wine Competition (a new competition this year). We won 17 medals, 2 Gold, 6 Silver, and 9 Bronze Medals
We have already sent wines to the Critics Challenge (a new competition this year), the Los Angles International Wines & Spirits Competition, the Long Beach Grand Cru Wine Competition, and the San Francisco International Wine Competition. These competitions take place from the middle of May through the end of July.

In additional to these 4 competitions Frogtown wines will be sent to the Atlantic Seaboard Competition (wines only from states that border the Atlantic Ocean are tasted at this competition) held in late July, the Sommelier Competition (a new competition this year) held in early September, and the last competition will be the invited Jefferson Cup Competition (Frogtown is one of approximately 300 wineries who are invited to this annual competition) held in November.

Frogtown is off to a wonderful start to the 2011 Competition with 38 medals. We believe we could achieve over 60 Medals from competitions this year!

Discussion on the Grapes and Wines in This Shipment.

Propaganda

It really has not been that long (13 years) since I was sitting in my law office preparing trademark registrations for the first three names selected for our intended wine growing and wine making venture. “Frogtown” was to be the brand name; “Inclination” was to be a premium white wine blend of the three French Rhone Valley white grapes (Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne), and “Propaganda” was to be the premium red wine label. Our winery is Frogtown; we make a very successful wonderful white wine label called Inclination but this wine is not made from the three white Rhone grapes (it is a Chardonnay blend with Vidal and Viognier); and well Propaganda is Propaganda.

No wine intimidates me more than making Propaganda. Why? Propaganda must possess the wine characteristics and quality which all of us expect from a Propaganda wine regardless of the vintage. Being a wonderful red Bordeaux Blend is not sufficient. It must be Propaganda.

Anatomy of Propaganda.

As many of you know, while practicing law I collected over 3,000 bottles of wine. 90% of the wine bottles collected were red Bordeaux. I became quite knowledgeable about the Bordeaux communes and the different wines made in Bordeaux. Only about 5% of the wines I collected were California Cabernets, Merlots, or “Meritage” wines. My palate was definitely French Bordeaux. I was most attracted to the wines from the Medoc commune of St. Julien, located on the left bank of the River Gironde, and the Pomerol Region, located on the right bank of the River Gironde.

Although St. Julien wines have the reputation of requiring longer-term aging than other Medoc communes, I always experience a rather elegant, rich and gentle characteristic from the wines of this appellation even when fairly young. But of all the Bordeaux appellations, the wines of Pomerol were seductive. These wines were very full-bodied, fruity, opulent and rich with a very supple, smooth mouth feel.

Yes, I was aware that the St. Julien appellation was principally planted to the Cabernet Sauvignon grape and the Pomerol appellation was principally planted to the Merlot grape, but these were just words until I started growing and making wine.

Frogtown’s vineyards soils range from a sandy clay loam to a clay sandy loam. At the time I was selecting the grape varieties and the locations for planting the grapes I selected, I revisited the information published about the vineyards and wines of Pomerol. It was very interesting to find this region’s soils being principally clay for the higher elevation Chateaus; including the vineyards of Petrus, the most famous and highest priced of all Pomerol wines.

The most compelling of the Bordeaux varieties planted at Frogtown is Merlot. In many vintages, our Merlot grapes produce the most full-bodied red wines made at Frogtown, exhibiting very ripe flavors and ripe round and plentiful tannins. It is the ripening of these tannins in our Merlot that results in what I believe to be the most compelling attribute of these wines. While full-bodied and intense, our Merlot delivers a lush supple mouth feel on the palate. It is just yummy.

So with Pomerol and clay soils in mind, Propaganda evolved into a primarily Merlot (more than 50%) based wine with varying percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon to give the wine more structure and finish. Our 2002 Propaganda and 2004 Family Reserve Cabernet are the best wines we ever produced. Not far behind is our 2005 Propaganda, the most recent vintage of Propaganda before our 2008 Propaganda, and our 2006 Family Reserve Merlot.

In 2004 we blended about 12% Cabernet Franc into our Propaganda. While making a wonderful Bordeaux styled wine, I did not feel the Cabernet Franc added anything to Propaganda. In 2005 I went back to the 2002 vintage of Propaganda and used only Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in this vintage of Propaganda. No Propaganda was made from the 2006 or 2007 vintages.

For the 2008 vintage of Propaganda, in my blending trials I did “tinker” with the various blends by not only varying the different percentages of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the selection of barrels but, with most care and attention, putting a small amount of Petit Verdot into some of the blends. In 2002 and 2005 we did not have any Frogtown Petit Verdot to blend into a Propaganda wine. In 2008 we had our first harvest of Petit Verdot, enabling the referenced blending trials. Unlike Cabernet Franc, I was pleased to discover that Petit Verdot did in fact add to each of the Propaganda blending trials containing Petit Verdot. The 2008 Propaganda contains 5% Petit Verdot and 25 % Cabernet Sauvignon supporting the remaining 70% Merlot.

My impression after making four vintages of Propaganda and five vintages of a varietal labeled Merlot wine, including the 2006 Family Reserve Merlot, the upper limit of Merlot in Propaganda appears to be in the lower 70% range. Propaganda needs the structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot in the 30% range to be Propaganda.

I find the 2008 Propaganda to be very similar to the 2005 Propaganda when left open for a few hours. While the wine is lovely presently, I would suggest drinking the wine after an additional 3 months in the bottle. It would be preferable to leave the wine at room temperature (72 Degrees Fahrenheit) to assist in its recovery from the bottling process. We will not send 2008 Propaganda to competition until 2012.

All Red and Mixed Red and White Citizens are receiving a bottle of the 2008 Propaganda in this shipment.

Touriga

Mixed Red and White Citizens are receiving a bottle of 2007 Touriga in this shipment. This club wine was sent to our all Red Citizens in the February shipment. In my February 27, 2011 Notes, I said the following about the Touriga grape and our 2007 Frogtown Touriga:

“I am excited to enclose to our all red Citizens our first offering of a varietal Frogtown Touriga Nacional. From our “lost” vintage of 2007 (frost contributing to a loss of 90% of our grapes in 2007), this is an interesting wine.

The Touriga Nacional grapes are some of the smallest grapes we grow. The “tiny” berries of Touriga Nacional have a relatively high skin to pulp ratio. This characteristic makes Touriga Nacional wines very intense in all respects. Intensity of aroma and flavor can be a good way to describe Touriga Nacional wines. Like many of the red grapes grown at Frogtown, Touriga Nacional is somewhat spicy with dark fruit flavors of blueberries and blackberries. But Touriga is distinctly and uniquely different in its offering of these blueberry and blackberry flavors. This uniqueness makes Touriga an ideal blending partner with Tannat (another dark blueberry/blackberry wine with hints of spice grown in our Estate vineyards). The blending of Touriga Nacional and Tannat, along with Cabernet Franc, results in our Shotgun gold medal winning wines.

This 2007 offering of Frogtown Touriga is a very dark full-bodied wine. There are many reasons to grow and blend Touriga into wine. For me the most compelling reasons for growing and producing Touriga wine is the purple violet nose of these wines and the deep, deep color and bright berry flavors. The violet nose on our Shotgun wines gives no hint of the flavor of this wine when drunk. It is almost a complete disconnect between the aroma on the nose to the aroma and taste once the wine is in your mouth. This violet aroma on the nose is present in this 2007 Touriga Nacional. This is an intensely aromatic wine with supple tannins and a long lingering finish. You will not find the earthy characteristics of Shotgun in this wine. It exhibits more bright intense fruit than our Shotgun wine.”

Bravado

Bravado is a Super Tuscan wine containing 60% Sangiovese, 25 % Tannat and 15 % Cabernet Franc. In my December 2009 Wine Maker Notes, I discuss the Sangiovese Grape and the relatively new Super Tuscan wines in connection with the club shipment of our 2008 Frogtown Audacity.

The 2008 Bravado won a major Gold Medal at the San Diego International Wine Competition. Winning Gold at SDIWC for the 2008 Bravado is very welcome for our first vintage and unexpected.

The concept of a Super Tuscan wine is a challenging concept; as there is no single agreed upon definition for this wine bend. These wines, made in a non-regulated traditional Bordeaux manner, were a response to consumer preference for more bold red wine which in many respects is the opposite to Chianti wines made under strict requirements and techniques, including the requirement to blend some white grape wine into the Chianti blend. Vintners in Tuscany, Italy were experimenting with blending Bordeaux varietals with Sangiovese in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s in order to deliver a more powerful full-bodied wine.

Today, I am aware of wines from Tuscany containing no Sangiovese and called Super Tuscan wine. At least these wines have a Tuscany connection in the growing and production of such a wine. However, could a “New World” wine made without Sangiovese be called a “Super Tuscan?” I think not, what would be the purpose? There must be some connection to Tuscany in a New World Super Tuscan. That connection is the Sangiovese grape. My vote on defining this type of wine would require some significant contribution of the Sangiovese grape. Say 25%.

I would venture to say there are not many Super Tuscan wines containing the Tannat grape. I have wanted to make a principally Sangiovese and Tannat Super Tuscan for some time. In the 2008 Bravado we also added some Cabernet Franc. In subsequent years we could also bend Cabernet Sauvignon into our Bravado wines. Bravado is a welcome addition to our wine labels.

All white wine Citizens are receiving a wonderful wine in the form of our 2009 Marsanne. This is truly a Gold Medal wine, having won this distinction at the 2011 San Diego International Wine Competition. I believe this is not the only gold medal for this wine. All white wine Citizens are also receiving two pre-release wines: the 2009 Chardonnay andthe 2009 Vineaux Rosé. The 2009 Chardonnay has a tremendous task in hand to follow the gold medal winning 2008 Chardonnay. It is a little too soon to judge the 2009 Chardonnay. The 2009 Vineaux Rosé is very recognizable as a Frogtown Rosé. I think this is one of the better Vineaux Rosés we have ever made.

The final two May, 2011 club shipment wines are the 2009 Vineaux Blanc and the 2009 Frogtown Touché. The 2009 Vineaux Blanc is included in the shipment to our mixed White and Red wine Club Members and the 2008 Touché is included in the shipment to our all Red wine Club Members.
The 2009 Vineaux Blanc won a Gold Medal at the San Diego International Wine Competition and the Touché won a Silver Medal. I have often said these two wines deliver the best wine to price value Frogtown has to offer. The 2009 Vineaux Blanc follows the Gold Medal winning 2008 Vineaux Blanc; so Gold and Vineaux Blanc are getting to be synonymous. I think better news for the 2009 Touché will come in one of the remaining 2011 competitions.

Distribution of Frogtown Wines.

Commencing this May, Empire Distributors and Frogtown have launched a significant effort to place Frogtown wines in more restaurants and package stores in Georgia. Please ask your favorite restaurants and package stores in Georgia to carry Frogtown wines. Restaurants and package stores will find special sales initiatives to place Frogtown on their wine menus and in their package stores.

What’s happening with Helen, Georgia Tasting Room?

Probably, opening early July.

Summary of Shipment wines

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines, you will find enclosed in your shipment the 2008 Frogtown Propaganda, the 2008 Frogtown Touché, and the 2008 Frogtown Bravado, priced as follows:

2008 Frogtown Propaganda: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $33.99.

2008 Frogtown Touché: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $21.99.

2008 Frogtown Bravado: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $19.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving red and white wines, you will find enclosed in your shipment the2008 Frogtown Propaganda, the 2007 Frogtown Touriga, and the 2009 Frogtown Vineaux Blanc, priced as follows:

2008 Frogtown Propaganda: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $33.99.

2007 Frogtown Touriga: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $27.99.

2009 Frogtown Vineaux Blanc: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $14.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving all white wines, you will find enclosed in your shipment the 2009 Frogtown Chardonnay, the 2009 Frogtown Marsanne, and the 2009 Frogtown Vineaux Rose, priced as follows:
2009 Frogtown Chardonnay: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $24.99.

2009 Frogtown Marsanne: Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $19.99.

2009 Frogtown Vineaux Rosé: Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $16.99.

Best to all,

Craig


FEBRUARY ’11 WINEMAKER NOTES

February 2011

The concern we have is the early (prior to the last week in March or the first week in April) bud break of our vines followed by temperatures immediately before sunrise below 31 degrees Fahrenheit. If such temperatures occur under clear skies with dew points at or below the ambient temperatures, frost conditions will develop requiring frost fighting measures. In most years Frogtown has been required to fight frost by building small fires at the end of our rows, flying helicopters, using our wind machine and frost dragon equipment.

By the May, 2011 shipment I will be able to report to you on whether or not frost conditions have occurred and whether or not the frost will negatively affect our 2011 vintage.

Winery Update.

With the December 2010 Shipment, I reported we have had a very productive post-harvest period of wine making. This shipment contains a number of very intensely hand crafter wines primarily intended for our Citizens. Below I will comment on these “Club Wines.”

We have continued to make progress in the bottling of our 2008 red wines and have completed the bottling of all of our 2009 white wines offerings. Our focus now will be on the blending of a number of our 2009 reds and the beginning of the assessment of our 2010 white wines. I continue to believe that the 2008 and 2009 reds and the 2009 and 2010 whites will be some of the best wines grown and bottled by Frogtown, as all three vintages have been above average to excellent.

Discussion on the Grapes and Wines in This Shipment.

Norton

As promised in our December, 2010 Notes, we are releasing our 2008 Norton bottling with this shipment. In my December, 2010 Notes I said the following:

“I am very excited about this Norton vintage. In addition to the classic supple layers of fruit present in Frogtown Norton, the 2008 vintage has the highest levels of tannin ever in a Frogtown Norton. I blended some 2008 Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon into this Norton.”

I really like what the Petit Verdot has added to our Norton. Petit Verdot is a powerful grape with intense color and flavors. Interesting, the Petit Verdot has “toned down” the Norton grape making this bottling of Norton much more vinifera-like than past Frogtown vintages. The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon has added structure to this wine. A pure 100% Norton wine, while deep in color and flavor, is not very tannic. The structure of Norton is also rather “loose” or “scattered” resembling a high alcohol Zinfandel wine. The addition of Cabernet Sauvignon knits the wine together and gives the wine the structure it requires.

I would be very surprised if this 2008 vintage of Norton does not win a Gold Medal in one of the 2011 Major Competitions that we enter this wine. We shall see – I have been disappointed in the past. But I sincerely do think gold is in the future for this wonderful Norton vintage. The 2008 Norton is a fitting encore to our 2006 Gold Medal vintage of Norton. Unlike the 2006 Vintage, we are blessed with plentiful amounts of the 2008 Norton for your enjoyment and purchase throughout this year.

Malbec

Enclosed to our Red and Mixed Red and White Wine Club Citizens is our first release of a Malbec wine. This release also happens to be one of two Club wines released under the Disclosure Label in this Shipment. The Disclosure Label is used when we release a Club wine containing wine made from California grapes blended with wine made from our Estate grown Frogtown grapes. It is a specially designed descriptive label used exclusively for our Club Wines.

Malbec historically was a “Bordeaux grape” until the Bordeaux vintners gave-up on Malbec in the middle of the last century. Very similar to Merlot in some respects but substantially different than Merlot is other respects.

Malbec is the most planted grape in Argentina. I think what Australia did for the Syrah (Shiraz) grape, Argentina is accomplishing for the Malbec grape. Malbec is becoming a widely produced wine due in large part to the Malbec offerings from Argentina.

In France, most Malbec is now grown in Cahors in the South West region of France, near to the region where Tannat is grown. This grape is called Auxerrois or Cot (original French name for Malbec) in this South West region of France. In the Cahors region Malbec is often blended with Tannat to make a very dark full-bodied wine with long-aging capabilities.

The color of Malbec wine is dark, but so are a number of other wines grown at Frogtown. In my opinion, Malbec distinguishes itself from other red grapes making dark wines by its identification with the descriptor word DENSE. The color is dark but more opaque (i.e. DENSE) than other dark wines. Other dark wine grapes make a full-bodied wine, but the fullness, in a good Malbec wine, is even more full-bodied (i.e. DENSE).

The Disclosure First Malbec delivered to our Red and Mixed Citizens is a very, very dense, full-bodied wine exhibiting very supple mouth-feel (particularly for such a full-bodied wine) with lush plum and dark blue fruit flavors with light spicy and tobacco notes. The wine was made with three barrels of Russian River Malbec and one barrel of Frogtown Malbec and one barrel of Frogtown Cabernet Sauvignon. In conformity with our dedication to truth-in-labeling, this wine is put under an American wine appellation. As we have noted a number of times in the past, the United States regulations on wine labeling make no sense and are counter to truth-in-labeling. When utilizing an American label the rules prohibit the use of a vintage reference. So notwithstanding the fact that this wine is made entirely from 2008 vintage grapes, the American label regulations require us to designate this wine “First” to distinguish this wine from subsequent offerings of Disclosure Malbec.

Touriga

I am excited to enclose to our all red Citizens our first offering of a varietal Frogtown Touriga Nacional. From our “lost” vintage of 2007 (frost contributing to a loss of 90% of our grapes in 2007), this is an interesting wine.

The Touriga Nacional grapes are some of the smallest grapes we grow. The “tiny” berries of Touriga Nacional have a relatively high skin to pulp ratio. This characteristic makes Touriga Nacional wines very intense in all respects. Intensity of aroma and flavor can be a good way to describe Touriga Nacional wines. Like many of the red grapes grown at Frogtown, Touriga Nacional is somewhat spicy with dark fruit flavors of blueberries and blackberries. But Touriga is distinctly and uniquely different in is offering of these blueberry and blackberry flavors. This uniqueness makes Touriga an ideal blending partner with Tannat (another dark blueberry/blackberry wine with hints of spice grown in our Estate vineyards). The blending of Touriga Nacional and Tannat, along with Cabernet Franc, results in our Shotgun gold medal winning wines.

This 2007 offering of Frogtown Touriga is a very dark full-bodied wine. There are many reasons to grow and blend Touriga into wine. For me the most compelling reason for growing and producing Touriga wine is the compelling purple violet nose in these wines. The violet nose on our Shotgun wines gives no hint of the flavor of this wine when drunk. It is almost a complete disconnect between the aroma on the nose to the aroma and taste once the wine is in your mouth. This violet aroma on the nose is present in this 2007 Touriga Nacional. This is an intense aromatic wine with supple tannins and a long lingering finish. You will not find the earthly characteristics of Shotgun in this wine. It exhibits more bright intense fruit than our Shotgun wine.

Chardonnay

One could argue why would Frogtown make a Disclosure Chardonnay in light of the remarkable Chardonnay grown and produced at Frogtown. Our 2008 Frogtown barrel fermented Chardonnay has just won a gold medal from the prestigious Dallas Morning Star 2011 wine competition. This gold medal has followed four Silver Medals and a bronze Medal in other major competitions in 2010 for our 2008 Frogtown Chardonnay.

The answer is simple. It interests me to create unique East Coast West Coast wines. It goes without saying that Frogtown fruit is distinctly different from California fruit. I am amazed at the wines we have been able to achieve in making the combined wines from Frogtown and California better that the separate wine parts from these individual and distinct viticultural wine-growing regions.
I must admit, Chardonnay is not the first white wine I select when having a choice of white wines. This Disclosure First Chardonnay, however, is different. Since bottling, Cydney and I have opened a number of bottles of this Chardonnay bottling (of course just to see how the wine is doing “in the bottle”). It is very easy to be an advocate of this wine. When placed in a tasters mouth, this wine is easily identified as a Chardonnay. The wine takes the characteristics of the rich, full-body, supple, and balanced characteristics of barrel fermented Chardonnay to another dimension. Disclosure First Chardonnay is simply the most full-bodied rich white wine I have ever experienced. OK what is in this Chardonnay. We blended some Frogtown Chardonnay and Marsanne into Russian River Chardonnay from California to make a Chardonnay blend that is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Marsanne. I have been wanting to blend Marsanne into a Chardonnay wine for quite some time. But not desiring to tinker with what has been proven to be wonderful offering of 100% barrel fermented or steel fermented Chardonnay by Frogtown, I resisted the temptation to put some Marsanne into Frogtown Chardonnay.

The prospect of making a Disclosure branded Chardonnay eliminated any reluctance to “tinker” with the 100% Chardonnay traditionally made at Frogtown. So, into this tank went Marsanne. I am thrilled with the result. The Marsanne has added to the full-body and depth of this wine. The flavor profile is different from Frogtown Chardonnay. This wine exhibits apple flavor but not green apple. I get more ripe apple bordering on apple pie flavors. I do not perceive citric fruit on my palette but do get tropical fruit flavors of banana and mango. But most significantly, in place of oaky butter and cream flavors present in most barrel fermented 100% malolatic fermentation Chardonnay, I get wonderful butterscotch and hazelnut flavors with only a slight nuance of oak.

As a repeat of my prediction of the 2008 Norton winning a gold medal in a major competition, this Disclosure Chardonnay should find gold somewhere in 2011. It’s distinctly intense full-bodied mouth feel and lush palate should find support from judges. If there ever was a white wine that should appeal to a red wine drinker, it is this Disclosure First Chardonnay.

When to Drink These Wines.

Prior to the commencement of our Wine Club and when Frogtown was selling grapes to other wineries, we did not release any white or red wines until 3 to 6 months after bottling. With the onset of our Wine Club and the additional expansion of our wine offerings (presently, over 35 different wine offerings) and sales in the tasting room(s) and through package store and restaurant distribution, I have not had the luxury of delaying the release of recent bottled wines. So, as we stated in our December, 2010 Shipment, the enclosed wines have not reached their complete development. Each of the wines could use between 3 to 6 months of bottle age at 70 degree temperatures to complete their development. With the preceding sentence in mind, you will find the enclosed wines very enjoyable now. So, since we have additional bottles of all the Club wines sent in this shipment, you can enjoy these wines after about a week or so at 70 Degrees temperature and know that additional wine is available to you at the Tasting Room(s) or by FedEx shipment.

Club Wines.

With this February 2010 Shipment, Frogtown is well on its way to delivering a most rewarding wine club experience by delivering to our Citizens very intensely hand crafted Club wines in addition to our regular wine offerings. Whether these wines are made under the Frogtown or Disclosure label, Club wines are made in quantities of 100 cases or less. It now takes approximately 40 cases of a wine to fulfill a Club Shipment. This leaves an additional quantity of Club wines for sale. A number of our Citizens have already added to their shipment quantities of these Club wines. It would be wonderful if we can sell out these wines only to our Citizens. So please order these wines after you have had an opportunity to enjoy them. As a new benefit to our Citizens, Club wines shipped subsequent to release in increments of three bottles will be shipped without a shipping charge. By e-mail and on-line we will keep you informed of the availability of Club wines for subsequent purchase.

What to expect in the May, 2011 Shipment.

Our all white wine Citizens should be in heaven with the wines delivered in this shipment and the wines which will be delivered in May. In May white wine Citizens and mixed red white wine Citizens should look forward to receiving white wine from the following recently bottled wines:

2009 Frogtown Marsanne
2009 Frogtown Roussanne
2009 Frogtown Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
2009 Frogtown Steel Chardonnay
2009 Frogtown Sauvignon Blanc

Our all red wine Citizens and mixed red and white Citizens should look forward to receiving red wine from the following recently bottled or to be bottled wines (yes, it is true 2008 Propaganda is not a misprint):

2008 Touché
2008 Bravado
Shotgun, Second Reload
2008 Propaganda

What’s happening with Helen, Georgia Tasting Room?

Craig is “messing with” the plans while this building is under construction; can’t help myself. I see things as the building is under construction. Lucky I am my own contractor. I would be a cost plus contractor’s delight with all the change orders which would be necessary. Anyway all is well that ends well and I can assure you that our Citizens will be delighted with this tasting room when completed.
Cydney is working on making this tasting room a clothing shopping experience as much as a wine tasting experience. As many of you know Cydney was a manufacturer of infant and toddler clothing for 25 years and her latent designer traits are surfacing in designing adult clothing with the Frogtown theme for our customers. Watch for Frogtown Clothing this summer at our Helen Tasting Room and on-line.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines enclosed you will find the 2008 Frogtown Norton,
2007 Frogtown Touriga, and Disclosure First Malbec, priced as follows:

2008 Frogtown Norton: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $28.99. I have not increased the price of our Frogtown Norton wines from the first vintage in 2002.

2007 FrogtownTouriga: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $27.99.
Disclosure First Malbec: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $29.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red and white wines, the following Disclosure First Chardonnay is substituted for the 2007 Frogtown Touriga included in the all red Citizens shipment which
Disclosure First Chardonnay is priced as follows:

Disclosure First Chardonnay: Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $27.99.
For those Citizens who are receiving all white wines, in addition to the Disclosure First Chardonnay described immediately above, we are including in this shipment the following two wines:

2009 FROGTOWN INCLINATION- This is Inclination! I am pleased we are able to make Inclination in a recognizable manner year in and year out. This is truly a wonderful Inclination. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99.

2009 FROGTOWN VINEAUX BLANC – As with Inclination you will not have any difficulty recognizing this 2009 vintage of Vineaux Blanc as Frogtown quality Vineaux Blanc wine. Let’s hope it achieves a gold medal like the 2008 Frogtown Vineaux Blanc achieved in 2010. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from
Retail Price of $14.99.

Enclosed with this Shipment, in addition to these Notes, is our 2011 Calendar. Please pay particular attention to the events shown for Frogtown Citizens Only.

Best to all,

Craig


DECEMBER ’10 WINEMAKER NOTES

Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Most importantly all of us at Frogtown wish you a very enjoyable Christmas and a most healthy, productive, and happy New Year!

Vineyard Update

We have enjoyed some real cold days, with temperatures in the lower teens early in the morning heading into winter of 2011.  As long as we do not experience single digit temperatures over an extended close period of time, the cold helps with killing unwanted insects and fungus “over-wintering” in the vineyard.  I have also experienced more fruitful buds following cold winters.

I think the winter views of the vineyard are wonderful.  Without the leaves and fruit, winter offers the views of the symmetry of the vineyard and the rows and rows of posts and trellises otherwise hidden by the leaves during the growing season.

Winery Update

Wow, we have had a very productive post-harvest period of wine making.  I have mentioned too many of our Citizens it is our desire to produce relatively small bottlings of very intensely hand crafted wines primarily intended for our Citizens.  When you review the list of wines we have made during this post-harvest period to date you will notice a number of Frogtown wines never made or only limitedly made in the past.  Frogtown is well on its way to delivering a most rewarding wine club experience with these especially hand crafted wines.

In addition to the East Coast West Coast First Compulsion and the 2008 Frogtown Sangiovese delivered with the Shipment we have bottled the 2008 Norton.

For those of you who have tasted the 2008 Norton in barrel and have inquired about Norton wines at Frogtown this past year, I said I thought the 2008 AND 2009 vintages of Norton were going to be worthy successors to the California Gold Medal Winning 2006 Frogtown Norton.  There is no doubt 2008 and 2009 vintages of Frogtown Norton will please our discriminating customers.

For the first time ever, in 2008 I did not de-classify any Norton barrels from a vintage. This fact, coupled with the large 2008 Norton harvest has resulted in 500 cases of 2008 Norton.  This is almost three times the previous largest bottling of Norton at Frogtown.  I am very excited about this Norton vintage.  Added to the classic supple layers of fruit present in Frogtown Norton, the 2008 vintage has the highest levels of tannin ever in a Frogtown Norton.  I blended some 2008 Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon into this Norton.

As you will discover when you drink the 2008 Sangiovese; and as you experienced with our first 2008 vintage wine, the inaugural vintage of Audacity, 2008 is a GREAT vintage.

The 2008 Norton will be “released” to our Citizens in the February 2011 wine shipment.

As of this date, our post-harvest wine making activities, have resulted in the  following additional Frogtown wines to be bottled over the next few months:

2009 Frogtown Vineaux Blanc
2009 Frogtown Inclination
2009 Frogtown Sauvignon Blanc
2009 Frogtown Marsanne
2009 Frogtown Roussanne
2009 Frogtown Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
2008 Frogtown MRV
2008 Touché
2008 Bravado
Shotgun, Second Reload
Frogtown Disclosure Chardonnay
Frogtown Disclosure Malbec

OK, what is this new wine label “Disclosure”?  I have decided to only bottle Convergence as a West Coast East Coast wine andCompulsion as an East Coast West Coast wine and to offer these wines as a distributed wine by Empire Distributing to restaurants and package stores.

I have been really excited with the blending of Frogtown wine with California wine and registered with the Federal Trademark office the “Disclosure” label.

Our son Michael continued his wonderful label designs by putting a frog under a microscope as the image which will appear on Disclosure labeled wines.   Most significantly Disclosure wines will disclose to our customers that we have in fact used fruit or wine grown outside of the state of Georgia in making these wines.  All Disclosure wines will be sold under an “American” appellation label and NOT A GEORGIA LABEL.

Frogtown Bravado is an additional “Super Tuscan” wine (Audacity was our first Super Tuscan) containing Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat.  We are making Bravado specifically for the distribution segment of our business.  It will be very value priced at $19.99 per bottle.

GET TO KNOW FROGTOWN

Printed immediately below is a “concise” description which we have displayed in our tasting room.  I want to specificallyshare this description with our Citizens, as there was much thought on my part in putting together this two-page description of what we do at Frogtown.

GET TO KNOW FROGTOWN

Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, equal distance between Dahlonega and Cleveland, Georgia, Frogtown vineyards and winery encompass 44 acres of planted vines at elevations from 1675 feet to 1825 feet above sea level. The contours of Frogtown’s hill side vineyards represent some of the steepest slopes of all viticultural areas in the eastern part of the United States.  Along with our hilly terrain, Frogtown’s sandy clay loam soil, trellis design, and directional aspect of vine rows, create a most unique viticultural environment for our wine growing activities.

On Frogtown’s 44 acres of vineyards 25 different wine grape varieties are planted.  The red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sangiovese, Tannat, Touriga Nacional, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Nebbiolo, Chambourcin, and Norton, and the white varieties Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Seyval, Petit Manseng, Vidal, Muscat, and Picpoul are grown at the Dahlonega vineyards.  At Frogtown’s Helen Vineyards established in 2010, the Italian white wine grapes Vernaccia and Greco di Tufo and the Italian red wine grape Teroldego are being cultivated.

In total there are 23,000 grape vines in Frogtown’s North Georgia vineyards capable of producing up to 180 tons of premium wine grapes each year.  This tonnage equates to over ten thousand cases of Estate Grown wine per year!

Frogtown winery is a unique underground state-of-the-art horizontal gravity flow facility on three different elevation levels.

Frogtown tasting room at the winery is open year-round providing tastings daily from 11:30am to 5:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Tastings commence at 11:30AM on Friday and Saturday and end at 6:00pm.  On Sundays, tastings start at 12:30pm and end at 5:30pm.  Frogtown also provides a “Panini Bar” on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Frogtown hosts wine dinners and Sunday brunches throughout the year.  Please check the Frogtown web site (www.frogtownwine.com, for dates and menus).   In addition to the tasting room at the winery, tastings and wine sales will be available at Frogtown’s Helen Georgia Tasting and Wine Sales Facility, opening in late 2010 or early 2011.  Scheduled to be open in 2011, Frogtown is establishing a tasting room in South Georgia, one mile North of Interstate 75, Exit 29, on 50 acres of land running over 3,000 feet contiguous and along the northerly lanes of I-75 that are clearly visible from I-75.

Frogtown’s hospitality and winemaking facility, using old-world hand crafted mortise and tenon timber frame joinery, overlooks a three acre lake.  This facility is a perfect venue for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and corporate events.

There are numerous wine offerings from Frogtown.  With the sole exception of dessert wines under the Frogtown label, all Frogtown labeled wines are made under the strict “French Rules” and are completely dry wines. By adopting the French rules in winemaking, Frogtown does not add back ANY sugar to its wines. Unlike France, in the United States it is not illegal to add sugar to “dry” wines.  Many California wineries add small amounts of sugar (one or two grams per liter) to make their wines more supple, easier to drink.  This small amount of sugar is below the threshold for most people to perceive sweetness in wine. While this practice adds smooth textures to the wine, it also makes wine less food friendly; as even one gram of sugar per liter coats each molecule of wine with a thin sugar veneer.

Because it is not illegal in the United States to add sugar, Frogtown also produces a second label, Thirteenth Colony, under which “off-dry” wines are offered and a sweet wine label, Talking Rock.  Under the wine label Southern Charm, Frogtown will be producing “premium” Muscadine wines to be featured at the South Georgia Tasting Room, along with all of the other wines produced by Frogtown.

Frogtown is committed to grow and produce wines which compete with other premium and ultra premium wines grown and produced anywhere in the world. We do not just say we make competitive premium wines.  We prove this characterization of our wines by submitting Frogtown labeled wines to the rigours of competing against the best wines produced anywhere in the world, at the most prestigious and challenging competitions in the United States.  We have been fortunate in receiving medals from California competitions during the last five years that we believe make Frogtown, if not the most, certainly one of the most awarded Eastern Wineries in California competitions for dry white and red wines.

Most significantly, Frogtown is dedicated to truth-in-labeling of all wines.  All Frogtown wines labeled under a Georgia Appellation Label by Frogtown MEANS 100% Georgia fruit. Presently, not only is all wine labeled under the Frogtown, Thirteenth Colony, and Talking Rock labels 100% Georgia, such wines are made from estate vineyards established by Frogtown.  We have been awarded almost 90% of all medals awarded to Georgia wineries in California competitions.

The federal govenment and the State of Georgia allow the blending of up to an astounding 25% of non-domicilliary wine (i.e. California wine or grapes) into Georgia labeled wine without disclosing such fact on the label of the wine bottle. Many East Coast wineries, including wineries in Georgia, systematically blend California wine, juice, or concentrate into their state labeled wines without disclosing such fact on the label of such wine.  Such practice pays absolutely no attention to the ethical issues such winemaking practices create.

The Federal Government by allowing this winemaking practice simply encourages, in our opinion, fradulent and deceptive labeling practices thoughout the East Coast.

Frogtown, in an effort to educate the wine consuming public, has created wines labeled under a label designation of either an East Coast West Coast Wine, a West Coast East Coast Wine, or Disclosure.  Such wines are made from grapes grown at Frogtown and in California.  Frogtown places such wine in an AMERICAN appellation label, not a Georgia appellation label. The first of such wines, Convergence, won a major GOLD medal.  Frogtown has proven proper ethical labeling can be accomplished so the wine tasting public is aware of what is in the wine such persons purchase.

In the 2008 Wine Report Publication, Frogtown was listed as the 6th most up and coming winery outside of the States of California, Washington, and Oregon.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines or white and red wines, the following inaugural release of our East Coast West Coast red wine is included in your shipment:

FIRST COMPULSION – This is the East Coast West Coast answer to the West Coast East Coast Convergence. Compulsion is made from 50% Frogtown 2008 Merlot, 10% Frogtown 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, and 40% 2008 Russian River Petit Verdot.

This is a big wine, but not as big a wine as the First Convergence, which is much more like a California wine (as it should be with 67% California Cabernet and Malbec).  Our Frogtown Merlot and Cabernet very much “dominate” this wine, delivering an elegant deep and full-bodied red wine to be enjoyed with bold meat dishes.  Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $27.99.

While enjoyable now, this wine will develop in the bottle over the next two years.

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

2008 FROGTOWN SANGIOVESE – As I have said in the past, 2008 was another year of superior Sangiovese.  This “Brunello Clone” Sangiovese is, in my opinion the best Sangiovese made to date by Frogtown.  I do want to mention, however, we are making a Kritzer Family Reserve Sangiovese from our 2009 vintage Sangiovese.  This should take nothing away from this wonderful Sangiovese which is more full-bodied and flavorful than our past Sangiovese labeled wines.

Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99.  We have not increased the price of our Sangiovese varietal labeled wine since its release with the 2001 vintage.

2006 FROGTOWN TANNAT– this wine is hitting on “all cylinders.”  A  lovely, deep, powerful Tannat wine.   Enjoy with hearty meat dishes.

Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $29.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving red and white wines, in addition to the First Compulsion and 2006 Tannat, we are including in this shipment the following:

2008 FROGTOWN SAUVIGNON BLANC – Resembling a classic Sancerre wine from France, our Sauvignon Blanc is most satisfying to me as the Sauvignon Blanc grape is one of my favorite white wine grapes.

Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99.

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

2008 FROGTOWN VIOGNIER– I think I should be honest and say that Viognier, next to Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite white wine grape.  I take much pride and careful attention to the special wine making protocols Frogtown has developed in making Viognier in stainless steel and oak barrels.  When made in stainless steel, shortly after fermentation is complete, we barrel down this steel Viognier to receive the benefit of 8 to 10 months of oak aging.

Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $24.99.

2008 FROGTOWN MRV – I have been pleased with the reception this wine has received in the tasting room and in distribution.  This is truly a unique wine, as only a few wineries have access to all three of the Rhone Valley whites (Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier).  A  full-bodied white wine which can be paired with acidic foods from salads and pasta to lemon seafood dishes.

Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $21.99.

Best to all,

Craig

SEPTEMBER ’10 WINEMAKER 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 www.frogtownwine.com 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 [email protected] 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,

Craig

MAY ’10 WINEMAKER NOTES

Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Vineyard Update.

Winter of 2009-2010 has been the coldest winter resulting in the most delayed bud break in the eleven years we have grow grapes on the Dahlonega Plateau. As I indicated in my February 2010 Notes this can be “good” or “bad” depending how the cold has affected the vines.

I am relieved to report I see only the good results so far this spring of this very cold winter. In fact the condition of the vines this spring reminds me of the early years in establishing the vineyard. Perhaps the cold took its toll on the lingering fungal diseases and bad insects over-wintering in the vineyard. The vines appear “relieved” from such diseases and insects allowing their full expression of renewal this spring!

As I write these Notes the vine are completing their flower/fruit set development stage with good results. We have experienced very manageable amounts of rain and substantial amounts of sun with below normal temperatures. All good signs.

Helen Tasting Room.

For those of you who have recently seen our tasting room site in Helen you should have noticed our progress. We have cleared trees from this very steep inclined property and commenced constructing our tasting room.

We are using all trees cleared from the site either in the form of posts and beams to be incorporated in the Helen Tasting Room or processed into fire wood which we use extensively to combat Spring frosts. A lot of cut timber has been placed on the vineyard property waiting for processing at a later date.

My plans were to plant the native American Norton vines at the Helen vineyard. Norton vines are much easier to grow and maintain than vinifera (the premium grape vine variety grown principally at the Dahlonega vineyard). What benefits Norton delivers in the vineyard is “taken back” in the winery, as Norton wines are more difficult to make into premium Frogtown wines.

After the Helen property was cleared, it was too hard to resist growing vinifera vines on two premium grape growing areas. With the prospects of planting vinifera in Helen, I decided to continue the development of interesting and different wines to be offered to our Citizens on an almost exclusive basis. This trend of offering new and different wines to wine club members and in tasting rooms has been led by vintners in the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara areas in California

Frogtown was at the head of this trend in past years when we planted the little known and cultivated Petit Manseng (white wine grape grown in the same region of France that grows Tannat), Picpoul (high acid white wine grape grown in the Rhone Valley region of France), Muscato (Italian white wine grape usually made in a dessert or sparkling wine style), and Petit Verdot (a French Bordeaux grape which is rapidly decreasing in importance in this region of France)

I have chosen the Italian varieties Teroldego, Greco di Tufo, and Vernaccia for planting in Helen. We also decided to plant in a portion of the remaining available area at the Dahlonega vineyard a very small trial of the noble Italian red grape Nebbiolo. Oh yes, this means Frogtown is now growing 25 different wine grape varieties.

Teroldego is a very deep colored red wine grape grown in the Italian region known for growing Pinot Gris. Teroldego wines somewhat resemble Zinfandel wines with less spice.
Creco di Tufo and Vernaccia are Italian white wine grapes that make rather full-bodied wines. I am excited to plant additional white wine grapes that can be made into full round white wines.
Nebbiolo is the red wine grape grown in the Piedmont region of Italy. I have only planted a small amount of Nebbiolo due to its wide-spread reputation of being very difficult to grow in other regions of Italy, let alone in “new-world” wine growing regions.

I will keep y’all posted on our experience with these grapes. We are probably four years away from selling any wines made from these grapes.

Gold in San Diego and Finger Lakes Wine Competitions.

Frogtown enjoyed wonderful results from its first two wine competitions of 2010.

We submitted nine wines to the Finger Lakes Competition (a major competition with over seventy percent of the competition wines coming from California). We received medals for ALL wines submitted; a nine for nine batting average (one Gold, four Silver, and four Bonze medals). THE MOST NOTABLE AWARDED WINE WAS OUR 2008 VINEAUX BLANC WHICH RECEIVED A GOLD MEDAL AT FINGER LAKES.

We entered this year’s San Diego International Wine Competition for the first time. We are most pleased to announce that our Shotgun, First Reload, received a GOLD Medal and our 2006 Tannat received a SILVER Medal at this competition!!!

Receiving a gold medal at a California competition for an East Coast red wine is most gratifying and speaks volumes for the ability to ripen red wine grapes at our Dahlonega vineyard. We are including in this shipment to red only and red and white Citizens a bottle of the award-winning Shotgun.
On-line access for our Citizens.

We are aware that some Citizens have had difficulty establishing and logging on to the Frogtown web site.

Here’s how to use our website www.frogtownwine.com.

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 at [email protected] 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. Note that when Outdoor Tasting Room Open is posted, that means the main Winery is closed for a private event, but the outdoor patio tasting room is open. If you are picking up a wine club shipment on one of those days, just come to the side door to the right of the building and we will help you.

As Citizens, please make sure to check our calendar, from time to time, for events specifically intended for Citizens. Bastille Day is coming up in July (we celebrate Bastille Day (July 14th) on a day closest to the actual date. This year we will celebrate you, our Citizens, on Sunday, July 11th with a Brunch followed by barrel tastings for those Citizen’s attending Brunch.

On September 11th we are offering a very special event to our Citizens. For those Citizens attending the Harvest Dinner on Saturday, 9/11, we are offering Experience Harvest with Craig.

Over the years many of you have inquired about observing a harvest at Frogtown. This is now your opportunity to pick grapes and see the harvested grapes being processed.

If sufficient tonnage is harvested, I also plan on offering this wine made from these grapes exclusively to our Citizens on a “future offer basis” which shall also be specially labeled commemorating the inaugural “Experience Harvest with Craig Event.” I will sign all bottles.

Please give us your commitment to attend this harvest event as early as possible. Depending upon your response, we may need to limit the number of Citizens attending. This is a Citizens only event, so please understand we cannot accept non-Citizens at the Harvest, but the Harvest Dinner will be open to non-Citizens, again depending upon your response to this event.

It is most important to Cydney and me that no Citizen is hurt during this event. Harvesting grapes is not without risk. Walking over uneven ground, cuts, insect stings and bites are a few ways a person harvesting grapes can get hurt. We will make special accommodations for those of you who do not want to experience harvest to its fullest extent but still desire to observe the harvesting of grapes and wine making.

Copies of all Notes from the Winemaker.

Sometimes Citizens pick-up their Wine Club shipments without receiving a copy of my current Notes from the Winemaker. Like all authors, I think a lot about what I write and do not want any Citizen (heaven forbid) missing the opportunity of reading my Notes. Soon you will be able to access present and past Notes from the Winemaker by clicking on a separate button on our web site!

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines or white and red wines, the following two wines (rather than three wine) are included in your shipment (unless you e-mailed Cydney otherwise):

2006 FROGTOWN FAMILY RESERVE MERLOT. Wow, only the SECOND FAMILY RESERVE from the first six Frogtown vintages! This is a BIG Merlot with loads of black (blackberry, blueberry, and cassis) fruit, uniquely found in Frogtown Merlot, coupled with hints of chocolate and tobacco. This Merlot is a wonderful example of our wine-making style of mouth feel with supple, yet firm, complex tannin structure. While very drinkable now, this wine will improve in the bottle over the next year and deliver fresh Frogtown Merlot flavors and mouth feel for many years thereafter – $48.99 bottle.

FROGTOWN SHOTGUN, FIRST RELOAD. A two-vintage blend of 2005 and 2006Tannat (40%), 2006 Cabernet Franc (20%), and 2006 Touriga National (40%), Shotgun is a BIG, bold, yet supple, red wine. Bright fruity flavors develop on the pallet to an intense, chewy ripe finish, making this wine both age-worthy and enjoyable now. GOLD MEDAL WINNER AT THE SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION – $24.95 per bottle.

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

2008 FROGTOWN VINEAUX BLANC – $14.99 per bottle. Seyval Blanc and Viognier are fermented in Steel and Oak 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. As state above, winner of a GOLD medal at this year’s Finger Lakes Wine Competition!

2006 FROGTOWN INCLINATION – $18.99 per bottle. Chardonnay, Viognier, and Vidal are fermented in French oak barrels to deliver ripe flavors of citrus, apple and toast. This very distinctive full-bodied white wine blend is only made by Frogtown and enjoys the recognition as one our most awarded and best-selling white wines.

2008 FROGTOWN VIOGNIER – $24.99 per bottle. Our 100% Viognier is a rich, luxurious white wine. Frogtown takes much care and pride in growing classic Viognier grapes which impart flavors of flowers, honey, peach, melon, and kiwi fruit integrated in a well-balanced full-bodied white wine that is wonderful with fresh fruits, cheese, and spicy foods. A perfect wine to pair with sushi.

Best to all,

Craig

FEBRUARY ’10 WINEMAKER NOTES

Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Vineyard Update.

It has been a very cold, cold, winter. Frogtown is experiencing the coldest winter in the eleven years of grape growing on the Dahlonega Plateau.

If the temperature does not get lower than 10 Degrees Fahrenheit, it would be unusual to have material bud necrosis or vine death. We had a few days when the temperature was less than 10 Degrees in the early morning. As the morning progressed, the temperature rose into the 20’s or 30’s. This pattern of single digit to rising temperatures should not cause a problem. As we prune, we are examining the buds to determine if any necrosis is present. Only after the vines bud out in late March or early April will we know for sure if we escaped material cold weather damage this winter.
On the positive side, the cold temperatures also kill lingering fungus, bacteria, viruses, and harmful insects (their lava or grubs).

Pruning is almost complete as I write these Notes.

Helen Tasting Room.

We are a few weeks away from breaking ground on Frogtown’s Helen Georgia Tasting Room. Cydney and I are excited about the expansion or our North Georgia wine tasting activities. We have designed the outside of this tasting room to resemble the single pitched roofs over the winery portion of our Dahlonega facility. The Tasting Room will be built into a hill on the property and have the appearance of a wine cave in the interior. The Helen Tasting Room will be another Frogtown facility incorporating interesting architectural features in a modern motif with a sprinkling of antique furniture and rugs.

2009 Vintage Wines. I continue to be very pleased with the wines from our 2009 harvest.

As many of you know from our conversations at the winery, I made a farming decision to reduce by 50% the fruit on our vines by cutting clusters off the vines to the ground early in the 2009 growing season. This decision proved to be “just what the vintage required,” as 90% of our grapes ripened and were harvested before September 16, 2009. From the 16th through the 25th of September, we experienced 22 inches of rain in a non-stop downpour. The September 16th to the 25th period is usually when we harvest a large portion of our red fruit! While the 2009 harvest came up almost 50 tons shy, we will trade quality for tonnage (quantity) all the time. Look for a wonderful and powerful 2009 Sangiovese. I am contemplating putting this Sangiovese in a Reserve bottle to sell for around $25.00. It is the best Sangiovese we ever harvested at Frogtown!

Dessert Wines.

Unless we make a dessert wine, all Frogtown labeled wines are fermented completely dry. This fermentation protocol is the law in the Bordeaux Region of France. Violating this protocol will result in the loss of the privilege of making wine in this Region of France.

In 2004, we made our first Cachet wine. Cachet is made from 100% Vidal grapes. Vidal is the “ice wine” grape grown in Ontario, Canada, and the Finger Lakes region of New York.
The federal labeling rules require a wine producer to state in its label approval application that the grapes froze on the vine in order to qualify for labeling a wine an ice wine. I believe hell would freeze before a Georgia producer could harvest frozen grapes in Georgia that have not been spoiled by rot. Since Frogtown believes in absolute truth in labeling, Cachet is not referred to as an “ice wine” on its label. We make Cachet as if it were an ice wine by a freezing process employed after the grapes are harvested. This after harvest freezing process serves the same function of harvesting the frozen grapes (i.e. the concentration of sugars and flavors).

I had thought extensively about producing a red dessert wine in an “ice wine” style. In 2008, we put Tannat grapes through fermentation protocols enabling the concentration of sugars and flavors in a manner similar to the protocols we use with our Vidal grapes in creating Cachet. I was very satisfied with the results.

The 2008 Grandeur, the federally trademarked name we gave to this wine, has been extremely well-received. While the process is long and painful, this red dessert wine delivers a most satisfying dessert wine experience. Like all premium dessert wines, Grandeur is sweet on the beginning and mid pallet, with a remarkable dry wine finish. Frogtown Grandeur is value priced at $22.99 for a 375ml bottle of dessert wine. See the description below for more information on how Frogtown Grandeur is made.

For those Citizens who are receiving all red wines, the following wines are included in your shipment:
2006 Frogtown Touché. We are giving our Citizens a “sneak preview” of the 2006 Touché. We still have about 30 cases of the gold medal winning 2005 Touché to sell before we release the 2006 Touché. We are in no hurry to release the 2006 vintage of Touché. With the exception of the 2006 Touché, all Frogtown 2006 reds have been released. All of the ultra premium 2006 reds (Family Reserve Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tannat, and Touché), were cellared for at least 30 months in a combination of new and used oak.

I thought the 2005 Touché was the best Touché made when I bottled this wine in 2008. With the imprimatur of being awarded a Gold Medal, Best-in-Class Designation from the Atlantic Seaboard 2008 Competition, the 2005 Touché did not let me down. With this in mind, I think the 2006 Touché is even better than the gold award-winning 2005 Touché. Competition results this year shall determine if professional wine judges at major competitions agree with my assessment. Retail price (has not changes since the inaugural 2001 Touché Vintage) – $21.99 per bottle

2006 Frogtown Tannat. Like all the respective 2006 premium Frogtown red wines, this 2006 Tannat is at the top of all the previous Frogtown vintages. I believe this vintage of our special varietal Tannat wine rivals the wonderful 2002 introductory vintage of this Southwestern regional French grape. Huge earthy black fruit with black pepper spice accents delivers an “in your face meat-taming wine” that has made Frogtown Tannat a favorite red wine of our Frogafiles. Retail price – $29.99 per bottle.

2008 Frogtown Grandeur. Unless an “all red” Citizen responded to Cydney’s e-mail and directed us to ship a red dry wine, an all red Citizen is receiving with this shipment the inaugural 2008 Frogtown Grandeur. This wine is made from 100% Tannat Grapes which were crushed and cold soaked for one month before pressed off and frozen for three more months in stainless steel and then slowly fermented at 50 Degrees. We started with 4,000 liters of juice and skins, only to end up with less than 2,000 liters of concentrated juice when we started fermentation. The Brix level went from 23.8 to 28.3 during the period of freezing concentration of the juice. This red dessert wine is wonderfully sweet with a dry finish on the pallet. Enjoy room temperature with soft artisan cheeses or with dark chocolate. Retail price for this 375ml bottle is $22.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving mixed red and white wines, in addition to the 2006 Touché and the 2006 Tannat described above, we are including in this shipment the following barrel fermented Chardonnay:
2008 FROGTOWN CHARDONNAY is the BEST Chardonnay Frogtown has produced to date according to Jordan Fiorentini, former Frogtown Winemaker and now Director of Winemaking at the Sonoma County, California, Chalk Hill Winery (and the mother of our granddaughter, Morgane). Fermented in 100% new oak (70% French and 30% tight grain North Central American) this Chardonnay is complex, rich and layered. The front pallet and nose consists of citrus flavors with hints of apple and pear. The mid pallet 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. Retail Price – $24.99.

For those Citizens who are receiving “all white” wines, in addition to the barrel fermented 2008 Chardonnay described above, we are including in this shipment the following wines:

2008 Frogtown Steel Chardonnay was fermented at 50 degrees in stainless steel (never saw the inside of an oak barrel) for three months. This crisp, acid-rich Chardonnay has citrus flavors complementing a green apple nose and finish. This wine, like French Chablis, is remarkably rich and round notwithstanding the absence of oak aging. Frogtown Steel Chardonnay is especially food friendly. Retail Price – $19.99.

It is not only fun, but educational to compare both 2008 Chardonnays. The difference in the fermentation and aging process results in two almost completely different wines

2006 Frogtown Cachet won a gold medal at the 2009 Jefferson Cup competition. The 2006 Frogtown Cachet is Frogtown’s premium dessert wine made in the style of an ice wine from Frogtown Vidal grapes. Cachet is a classic dessert wine with the presence of residual sugar in the front of the pallet and a relatively dry finish without a syrupy aftertaste. Enjoy this wine, very cold, with soft and flavorful artisan cheeses or dark chocolate.

We are enclosing with these Notes the Frogtown Calendar for 2010. Look over the dates and events carefully. There are a number of events PLANNED SOLELY FOR OUR CITIZENS.

I will provide additional information in my Notes accompanying the May 2010, shipment on (i) the July 10th Bastille Day Celebration providing barrel tastings and other cellar activities for Frogtown Citizens attending the Viva La Frogtown Dinner and (ii) the Harvest Experience with Craig for Frogtown Citizens attending the Harvest Dinner on September 11, 2010.

Best to all,

Craig

DECEMBER ’09 WINEMAKER NOTES

Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Vineyard Update

This is the time of the year Frogtown begins the process of pruning all 22,000 grape vines. Like many aspects in viticulture and winemaking, pruning is as much an art as it is a science. I would personally miss the opportunity to stand before a vine and make decisions on what is the best pruning strategy for the vine for the coming year. Frogtown is blessed to have very skilled vineyard workers to accomplish this pruning task which will extend from December, 2009, to March, 2010. Over ninety-five (95%) percent of the growth during 2009 will be eliminated by pruning all shoots to two buds. The quantity of fruit at bud break 2010 directly relates to the amount of sun andweather patterns experienced in 2009. While there was sufficient sun in 2009, the quantity of rain at the vineyard was more that twice the rain received in 2003, the next most rainy vintage. Only at bud break (late March or early April) will we know whether or not 2009’s rains will be a factor in the fruitfulness of the vines in 2010.

Introduction of 2008 Audacity and the Sangiovese grape.

We are including with this shipment a bottle of Frogtown 2008 Audacity. This wine is a blend of 55% Sangiovese and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon.

We have grown Sangiovese from the commencement of the vineyard. It is an extremely difficult grape to grow in our humid environment. I probably spend more time on growing Sangiovese than any of Frogtown’s 21 different grape varieties. Frogtown planted the Di Grosso clone of Sangiovese; the same clone grown in the Montalcino area of Tuscany where the long-lived Brunello di Montalcino wines are produced. The Di Grosso clone is the largest of the Sangiovese clones with very thin skins. The size of this grape coupled with its thin skins makes the grape very susceptible to disease. Also, the higher ratio of juice and pulp to skin we experience with Sangiovese makes it a challenge to get good color in our Sangiovese based wines. Notwithstanding the above, I have learned to deal with these negative viticultural attributes of Sangiovese and during the last five years delivered very good to excellent Sangiovese grapes to our winery. In fact, 2009 is the best Sangiovese grapes we have ever harvested at Frogtown. If the 2009 Sangiovese wine develops well in the cellar over the next 18 to 24 months, we plan on bottling a special 2009 Family Reserve Sangiovese which will sell for around $25.00 a bottle.

I have been told by a number of people that Frogtown Sangiovese wines deliver more of the classic Tuscan flavors and texture than many of the California Sangiovese labeled wines, including, in most vintages, the Atlas Peak Sangiovese. Atlas Peak is owned by the famous Tuscan Antinori family. The influence of the Antinori family to the wines of Tuscany is like comparing the influence of the Mondavi family to wines of California. Some of the most wonderful Chianti and Super Tuscan wines I have ever had the pleasure to taste were made by the Antinori family. Our daughter, Jordan (Director of Winemaking at Chalk Hill, Sonoma County) was selected, upon her graduation from UC Davis, to intern at Antinori in Tuscany.

It is my belief that Sangiovese “needs” more humidity than available in California to develop complexity and the classic bright cherry/black cherry earthy flavors in classic Sangiovese. The cloudy and rainy days we experience, from time to time, during the growing season in Northeast Georgia, gives our Sangiovese grapes “time-off” from the summer sun and heat. Many of the viticultural areas in California where Sangiovese is grown may produce excessive sun and heat during the day preventing Sangiovese grapes from developing these classic earthly cherry flavors.

With the sole exception of 2003, when no Frogtown red fruit was bottled under a Frogtown label (I created our second label, Thirteenth Colony, as a “home” for our 2003 red fruit), Frogtown has made a varietal Sangiovese in each of its first six released vintages.

Our Audacity wine was “born” during the wonderful 2008 harvest. As our Sangiovese grapes were being harvested, I decided to make a “Super Tuscan” style wine from our premium Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. With more intense fruit and complexity than our varietal Sangiovese wines, Audacity delivers on the cherry flavors of the Sangiovese grape and the complete pallet experience one can only receive from premium ripe Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Throughout Tuscany, a number of the Chianti producers have decided to make Sangiovese blends with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah grapes. These specially blended wines are referred to in the wine business as “Super Tuscan” wines. In producing Super Tuscan wines, Tuscan vintners have been freed of the requirement to blend from 10 to 30 percent of white wine into Sangiovese red wine in order to legally refer to such wine as Chianti.

For those of you that are receiving all red wines or red and white wines, we have included the following wines in this fourth Wine Club shipment:

2008 Frogtown Audacity -described above. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $25.99.

2006 Frogtown Cabernet Sauvignon -The 2006 Vintage is only the third Frogtown vintage of a varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wine! This bottle of Cabernet reminds me of a premium Bordeaux Medoc wine from the commune of St. Julien; and particularly the 1982 Bordeaux Vintage. Yes, I am old enough to have purchased Bordeaux vintages upon release in quantity from the 1978 vintage until the time Frogtown was founded in 1999. This very supple Frogtown Cabernet wine will increase in intensity as it ages in the bottle. Lovely notes of chocolate, vanilla, and dark cherry fruit complement a wonderful finish. This is a GREAT food wine to enjoy with your favorite steak. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $29.99.

For our Citizens receiving all red the third bottle included in this shipment is:

2006 Frogtown Sangiovese- I could not resist the opportunity to include our current 2006 varietal Sangiovese along with the 2008 Audacity. Not many wineries make Sangiovese wines let alone two wines containing a majority of Sangiovese grapes. We blended approximately 10% of our 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon grapes into this 2006 Sangiovese. This Sangiovese is a light to medium bodied red wine with distinctive cherry flavors with an earthly fruity finish. It is one of the best wines to enjoy with any Salmon dish. Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99.

For our Citizens receiving red and white, the third bottle included in this shipment is:

Frogtown 2008 Steel Chardonnay – Fermented at 50 Degrees F in stainless steel (never saw the inside of an oak barrel) for three months, this wonderful crisp, acid rich Chardonnay has citrus flavors complementing a green apple nose and finish. This French Chablis-like Chardonnay is remarkably rich and round notwithstanding the absence of oak aging. Frogtown Steel Chardonnay is a special food friendly wine which sells out quickly when available. This is a very good example of why Chardonnay is the “queen of grapes.” Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $19.99.

For those of you that are receiving all white wines, we have included the following wines in this fourth wine club shipment:

2008 Frogtown Steel Chardonnay – described above

2008 Frogtown Vineaux Blanc – we have just released this white wine, as our supply of 2006 Vineaux Blanc became exhausted. We have made Vineaux Blanc in every vintage except 2007 when we lost almost 90% of our fruit to a three day freeze occurring one day after Easter 2007. The Seyval and Viognier grapes in this wine were fermented in Stainless Steel and in Oak barrels. This bright crisp white wine is a refreshing combination of pineapple and citrus, with a touch of toast. A small portion of the wine is put trough malolatic fermentation to assist in the smooth long finish for which this wine has become known. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $14.99.

2008 Frogtown Viognier – we have not yet officially released this vintage of our classic Viognier wine. I would suggest keeping this bottle outside of any wine cellar or stand-alone wine cabinet at standard room temperature for one to two months before you enjoy what is inside this bottle. I just adore Viognier. I am very particular on the growing, fermentation, and clarifying of our Viognier wines. Always made in relatively small amounts, this Viognier is a worthily successor to the wonderful 2004 Viognier (Georgia’s only GOLD medal in a major California competition) and 2006 Viognier. I have coined the phrase that “Viognier is the red wine drinkers white wine” for good reason. In enjoying this wine, you will notice the mouth feel (particularly the viscosity) is similar to a red wine. This complex white wine delivers kiwi fruit, melon, pineapple, and peach flavors and a smooth and long-lasting finish. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $24.99.

Cost of Wines After 20% Discount and Including Shipping and Sales Tax.

For red only Citizens the charge for the enclosed wines is $76.17; for our red and white wine Citizens, the charge for the enclosed wines is $77.02; and for white only Citizens, the charge for the enclosed wines is $63.33.

Your next shipment will be in February, 2010.

Look for, and please purchase, Frogtown wines at restaurants and package stores in Georgia.
Best to all,

Craig Kritzer

OCTOBER ’09 WINEMAKER NOTES

October 27, 2009
Dear Frogtown Citizen:

Commencement of Distribution Partnership with Empire Distributors, Inc.
I am delighted to report Frogtown and Thirteenth Colony wines will be distributed in Georgia by Empire. Frogtown is indeed fortunate to have Empire as its distributor. Last Friday, I made our first delivery to Empire. You should be able to purchase Frogtown wines at restaurants and wine stores in Atlanta and throughout Georgia in the very near future. If you’re favorite restaurants or package stores do not offer Frogtown and Thirteenth Colony wines, please request the restaurant or package store contact Empire to purchase our wines. I would greatly appreciate your support by purchasing Frogtown wines in Georgia restaurants and package stores.

New Web Site

We also have our new web site in full operation. We encourage you to e-mail Cydney or me at your special email address, [email protected], with your comments to this new web site and any other comments, thoughts, or opinions you may have about our wines or our service. We take your comments seriously and you will receive a reply.

The 2009 Vintage Report

The 2009 Vintage is like no other vintage we experienced in our 10 years of growing premium wine grapes in North Georgia. As reported in our Winemaker Notes to our May 30, 2009, shipment, the year started out with lots of rain at bud break, blossom, and fruit set. Within two weeks after fruit set (around the second week of June), I decided to thin the 2009 crop by eliminating, depending on the grape variety, between 30 to 50 percent of the fruit on these vines. The dropping of fruit to the ground by shoot thinning or cluster thinning is not unusual for Frogtown; however, in none our preceding vintages did we drop this quantity of fruit so early in the growing season.

In past vintages we waited to drop a material portion of our fruit until verasion (when wine grapes soften and turn from green to purple/blue for red wine grapes and to yellow/chartreuse for white wine grapes). This early crop thinning paid enormous dividends, as the weather changed during June, July, and most of August to mostly sunny days and very moderate temperatures (very few 90 degree days) followed by substantial mid-September rain. Due to this early crop reduction, our later ripening red and white grapes were substantially ripe by the second week of September, prior to the onset of the September rains discussed below.

Harvest was just fractionally late (we harvested Sauvignon Blanc, our first ripening grape, the last week of August). We followed with Chardonnay, Seyval, and Viognier. Sangiovese was the first red grape harvested on the 4th and 5th of September.

Around the 12th of September, the weather appeared to be changing with lots of rain in the forecast. I decided to accelerate our harvest. Between the 12th and the 14th of September, Frogtown harvested a substantial portion of our red fruit.

The weather did in fact materially change making my decision to harvest a good decision. The vineyard received over 16 inches of rain from the 15th to the 21st of September. On September 21st (one day) it rained approximately 4 and ½ inches (almost 10% of the average annual rain fall for our area of North Georgia). Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon, some Merlot, and all of the Norton grapes hung through all of this rain. When the weather cleared botrytis was present, but we were surprised to find virtually no sour rot. Botrytis we can live with, but sour rot is just horrible.

A good amount of the post-rain grapes harvested actually were benefited by the extra time on the vine notwithstanding all of the rain. While the Brix levels were down, the post-rain harvested grapes did well in the winery. I 
employed the French technique of saignée to a greater extent than customary on these grapes with very good results. As of this date all these post-rain harvested grapes appear to be Frogtown quality wines. We do not anticipate allocating a material portion of our 2009 Vintage to our second wine label, Thirteenth Colony.

Bottom line, the 2009 vintage gave us the best Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, and Sangiovese ever harvested at Frogtown. The 2009 Chardonnay, Viognier, Seyval, and Vidal were what we expect from our vineyard. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tannat, Touriga, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Norton are deep in color and now appear to be more tannic than our previous vintages. We will need to “manage” this tannin in the Winery as these wines mature. The 2009 Vintage may give Frogtown its longest lived vintage wines.
Deceptive Trade Practices in Wine Labeling.

In our May 30, 2009 Winemaker Notes accompanying our Second Wine Club Shipment, I made mention of the fact that the Federal Wine Labeling Regulations encourage deceptive trade practices, particularly by East Coast wineries. Specifically, it is my belief, when the U. S. wine industry was initially developing (primarily on the West Coast), California wine growers and wineries wanted to sell either grapes or wine to East Coast wineries, but did not want the East Coast wineries referencing the fact that their wines contained California fruit or wine. In response to industry desires, Federal Regulators adopted labeling rules which allow the blending of up to 25% of the wine from a foreign state into another State’s labeled wines without requiring disclosure that such bending occurred (i.e. 25% of California fruit in a Georgia labeled wine). 
Ethics and good business practices go beyond just doing “what is legal”; such ethics and good business practices require producers selling to the public to do “what is right.” Most people purchasing a bottle of wine labeled “Georgia” assume such wine is made from 100% Georgia grown wine grapes, without containing wine made from grapes grown in another state. This is particularly true in the wine business, where consumers are encouraged to taste the different “terroir” in the wines of a Country (France as distinguished from Italy) or State (Georgia as distinguished from California). This French term, “terroir” can be defined as a specific group of vineyards from the same region , sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, and grapes, which contribute to give such region its specific personality to the wine. How does blending fruit or wine from California into Georgia wines enhance the terroir (personality) of Georgia wines? It doesn’t. The wine may be better because of the blending, but if a wine purchaser in Georgia wants a California wine, there are plenty of opportunities for that person to purchase such a wine in Georgia wine shops and restaurants. Why make Georgia wines “non-descriptive” by blending California wine into Georgia wine?
In the early spring of this year, Frogtown introduced two Resolutions to the Members of the Winegrowers Association of Georgia (“WAG”). The first Resolution required WAG members to only label their wines as “Georgia” if 100% of the grapes from which the wine was made came from Georgia. The Frogtown sponsored Resolution lost on a vote of 7 against to 3 in favor. After losing this first proposal, we proposed a second Resolution which allowed WAG members to blend California (or another states) grapes into their Georgia labeled wines so long as (i) the 25% limit under Federal law was met and (ii) the fact such blending occurred was disclosed on the label of such wine. Again, we lost on a 7 to 3 vote. For a listing of WAG member wineries, please go to georgiawine.com. Black Stock Vineyards and Stack Vineyards were the only other WAG members supporting our Resolutions.
We flat out don’t understand why most of the WAG members (constituting the vast majority of Georgia wineries making wine from vitis vinifera grapes (the internationally recognized premium wine grapes) are against disclosing the truth of what is in their wine to their customers and the Georgia wine-purchasing public. It goes without saying that the blending of an amount as large as 25% of California fruit or wine into Georgia grown wine materially changes this wine to “other than a Georgia product.” No other premium wine growing country (region) in the world would allow this type of terroir-altering process. The public in evaluating such altered wine should know such Georgia labeled product contains wine made from grapes grown outside the State of Georgia!

In response to the WAG vote on these Resolutions, I decided to demonstrate to the public, with full disclosure, the difference between a 100% Georgia grown wine product from a wine product containing grapes grown in another appellation. We registered with the United States Trademark Office the terms, “A West Coast East Coast Wine” and “An East Coast West Coast Wine,” and the names “Convergence” and “Compulsion.” Convergence being a West Coast East Coast Wine, by containing more West Coast than East Coast fruit. Compulsion being an East Coast West Coast Wine, by containing more East Coast than West Coast fruit. We were forced to use the descriptors West Coast and East Coast, as the Federal Regulators would not allow us to identify, in any manner, the specific and truthful fact that the wine was made from California and Georgia grown grapes on the Convergence and Compulsion labels.

With the sole exception of Convergence and Compulsion, all Frogtown wines and Thirteenth Colony wines contain, and will continue to be made from, 100% Georgia grown fruit. Convergence and Compulsion are not even put in a Georgia labeled wine bottle. You will notice on the back label of the Convergence you are receiving with this shipment, the label states “American Wine.” We could not go against our belief that a Georgia labeled wine should be made from 100% Georgia grown fruit. Up to now, all of the Georgia grown fruit going into a Frogtown or Thirteenth Colony wine has been fruit grown at our vineyards. In the future we may source wine grapes from other Georgia growers, we respect as good growers, for Thirteenth Colony wines. Frogtown labeled wines will always be estate grown at our vineyards.
.
In making Convergence and Compulsion, we hope to prove that it is good business practice to tell the wine purchasing public, to the extent the Federal Regulations and Regulators allow, what grapes (i.e. terroir) is in the bottle right on the label to that bottle.
I encourage all of you to know what is in the bottle before you turn over your money to any Georgia winery. You now know the vote and the unwillingness of the majority of WAG member wineries to practice truth-in-labeling at a standard higher than the dubious Federal Regulations require.

For those of you that are receiving all red wines or red and white wines, we have included the following wines in this third Wine Club shipment:

Frogtown First Convergence -Convergence is composed 2/3 from Cabernet, Merlot and Malbec grapes grown in Sonoma County, California and 1/3 from Cabernet Franc grapes grown at Frogtown Cellars. This West Coast East Coast Wine has big California fruit flavor with a chewy tannin finish. The Frogtown Cabernet Franc fruit gives this bold wine more elegance than the wine would have without such fruit. Our Georgia fruit “tones down” what was otherwise a big in “your face California Cabernet Blend.” This bottle of Convergence won an American Example of Greatness from the Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition (equivalent to a Gold Medal in other major competitions). Frogtown is one of only 300 wineries participating each year in the Jefferson Cup competition, a competition by invitation only. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $27.99.

2006 Frogtown Cabernet Franc -After more than 30 months in oak, in June of this year, we bottle the following Frogtown labeled wines: 2006 Cabernet Franc, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 Tannat, 2006 Touché, and the 2006 Kritzer Family Reserve Merlot. Due to the amount of Merlot grapes used in this Reserve, there will not be a Propaganda made from 2006 Vintage gapes. The next Propaganda will be made from our 2007 Vintage grapes. This Propaganda will be one of the few wines we will make from the 2007 Vintage due to the fact we lost 85% of our fruit to a freeze occurring the day after Easter 2007.

Wow, is my descriptor for the 2006 Cabernet Franc. I almost convinced myself into putting this wine in a Reserve Label. If I were teaching a class about the different wine grape varieties, I would use this wine as an example of a Cabernet Franc made from ripe full-flavored grapes. This wine is wonderfully balanced with a lovely finish. Typical of Cabernet Franc, the wine has a spicy character which does not over-power the wonderful dark blue fruit flavors. This is only the second time we have made a varietal Cabernet Franc (2004 was the first Cabernet Franc bottled varietal). This wine, along with all of the other 2006 Reds, and some 2008 whites will officially be released on November 21, 2009. While the wine could use some additional bottle age, please enjoy this bottle now. We bottled 125 cases of this Cabernet Franc. While not a big production, there should be sufficient quantities of this wine this winter and spring. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $29.99.

For our Citizens receiving all red the third bottle included in this shipment is:

2005 Frogtown Touché – We included a bottle of our 2005 Touché in our first Wine Club Shipment. Since the very first vintage of Touché, this wine is Frogtown’s best wine to price value. In describing this wine to you in February of this year I said: “This vintage of Touché continues the Frogtown tradition of being a major award winning wine in major competitions; as this vintage of Touché has the distinction of being awarded a Gold Medal, Best-in-Class Designation from The Atlantic Seaboard 2008 Competition – the East Coast’s exclusive major competition. As with its prior vintages, this Touché is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Tannat grapes. The exciting combination of these grapes offers complex flavors of ripe cherry, red berry and spice with hints of vanilla, tobacco and cocoa.” Wine club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $21.99.

For our Citizens receiving red and white, the third bottle included in this shipment is:

Frogtown 2006 MRV – we are sending this second bottling of our Marsanne, Roussanne, and Viognier proprietary blend. I like this bottle of MRV even more than our first bottling. If you put a blind fold on and a clothes pin on your nose, by the mouth feel of this wine, you would bet it was a red wine. This confirms my long-standing opinion that the Rhone Valley White wines are the “red wine drinker’s white wines. In addition to the classic Rhone white flavors of apple, pear, hazel nuts and almonds, this wine has lots of “flowers” on the bouquet and pallet with a wonderful creamy balanced texture. This wine is a wonderful example of how a non-citrus flavored wine can be enjoyed as an alternative to the ubiquitous Chardonnay, and, to a lesser extent Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio wines. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $24.99.

For those of you that are receiving all white wines, we have included the following wines in this third wine club shipment:

2006 Frogtown MRV – described above

2006 Frogtown Inclination – this white wine continues to be one of our best selling white wines. The 2006 Inclination will be officially released at the November 21, 2009, wine release event. I am very pleased that the description of this
2006 Inclination can be written by repeating the descriptions we have used for prior vintages of Inclination. We work very hard in putting the Chardonnay, Viognier, and Vidal grapes together as a blend for each of our Vintage Inclinations. The combination is never the same, but the blend always is Inclination. Enjoy this Inclination with its clean, citrus, apple and toasty flavors. Wine Club members enjoy a 20% discount from Retail Price of $18.99.

Frogtown 2006 Cachet – we are sending this 100% Vidal dessert wine to you for the first time. We have been out of this wine for over a year. This is our example of an “Ice Wine,” although we cannot label this wine as an Ice Wine due to the Federal Regulations requiring the grapes to be frozen on the vine when picked in order to use the words “Ice Wine” on the label. This will never happen in Georgia. In all honesty, Georgia grown grapes would rot before being frozen; if we indeed had the low temperatures which are necessary to freezing wine grapes. We use a process of “freezing-out” the water in the Vidal grapes in the winery and then ferment this wine at 50 Degrees for over three months. Our Cachet also has a relatively modest 2.8% residual sugar. Stylistically I want the wine to finish like a dry wine without a sweet syrupy after taste. This level of sweetness is just right to enjoy Cachet with semi-sweet chocolate. Unlike other white wines, I recommend that Cachet be chilled down to a very cold temperature before serving (I put a bottle in the freezer for at least ½ hour before serving).

For those of you who are receiving this shipment by FedEx instead of pick-up, as you have in the past, I apologize for this inconvenience. Unlike our former software, this new software requires that we enter into the computer your preference of pick-up or shipment AT THE TIME OF INITIALLY PROCESSING THE ORDER, rather than allowing us to wait till you respond to an e-mail confirming your preference of pick-up or shipment. Please call or e-mail Cydney with your pick-up preference for future shipments ( [email protected] or 404-502-9463) and she will make sure you are “in the computer” as required by our new software.

For red only and red and white wine Citizens, the charge for the enclosed wines, with your 20% discount and the $12.00 shipping fee, is $80.45. For our red and red and white wine Citizens we are additionally enclosing with this shipment a Frogtown wine tool at no charge, as the $80.45 charge for this shipment exceeds the maximum shipment allowance of $75.00. Enjoy using this tool to open many Frogtown wines!

For white only Citizens, the charge for the enclosed wines, with your 20% discount and $12.00 shipping, is $66.75.
Your next shipment will be in December. Look for, and please purchase, Frogtown and Thirteenth Colony wines at restaurants and package stores in Georgia.

Best to all,

Craig Kritzer