Full Review

Great Frogs

Great Frogs
2016 Harness Creek Vineyards EastPort Special Reserve Annapolis , Maryland

Pair this wine with:
Cheese

Category: Fortified Wine

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 18% RS: 8%
86 Points
Silver Medal
Highly Recommended
$60

Great Frogs
2016 Harness Creek Vineyards EastPort Special Reserve Annapolis , Maryland

Pair this wine with:
Cheese

Category: Fortified Wine

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 18% RS: 8%
Garnet color. Aromas of sarsaparilla and cherry cola, rum spice cake, pickled cherries, and polished wood with a medium body and a medium raisin and fig puree, prune pit, caramelized pistachios, and apple brandy and pepper finish. A somewhat rambunctious fortified wine that will be interesting to experiment with both desserts and cocktails.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Spicy & Complex
Aroma Aroma: sarsaparilla and cherry cola, rum spice cake, pickled cherries, and polished wood
Taste Flavor: raisin and fig puree, prune pit, caramelized pistachios, and apple brandy and pepper
Sweetness Sweetness: Dryish
Enjoy Enjoy: Now
Recipes Pairing: Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola, Roquefort
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A somewhat rambunctious fortified wine that will be interesting to experiment with both desserts and cocktails.

The Producer

Great Frogs

The Producer
3218 Harness Creek Rd
Annapolis, MD 21403
USA
1 443-254-3054

Their Portfolio

87 Great Frogs 2014 Vintner’s Red, Anne Arundel County 13% (USA) $40.00.
90 Great Frogs 2014 Meritage, Anne Arundel County 13% (USA) $40.00.
84 Great Frogs 2015 Chardonnay, Anne Arundel County 13.9% (USA) $30.00.
87 Great Frogs 2015 Vintner’s White, Anne Arundel County 13.9% (USA) $30.00.
87 Great Frogs 2015 Full Sail Dessert Wine, Maryland 18% (USA) $50.00.
84 Great Frogs 2015 All Hands on Deck Dessert Wine, Maryland 18% (USA) $50.00.
89 Great Frogs 2015 Eastport Dessert Wine, Anne Arundel County 18% (USA) $55.00.
84 Great Frogs 2015 Syrah, Anne Arundel County 14% (USA) $35.00.
89 Great Frogs 2015 Tanyard Reserve , Maryland 14% (USA) $35.00.
81 Great Frogs "Lollipop Red" Capital Series, Maryland 18% (USA) $15.00.
91 Great Frogs NV "Red" Capital Series, Maryland 14% (USA) $20.00.
90 Great Frogs 2015 "Red" Capital Series, Maryland 14% (USA) $25.00.
87 Great Frogs 2015 White Capital Series, Maryland 14% (USA) $20.00.
88 Great Frogs NV Chesapeake Blend, Maryland 14% (USA) $20.00.
86 Great Frogs NV White Capital Series, Maryland 14% (USA) $25.00.
81 Great Frogs NV Rosé Capital Series, Maryland 14% (USA) $25.00.
90 Great Frogs 2015 Harness Creek Vineyard Vintner’s Red Anne Arundel County, Maryland 13% (USA) $45.00.
88 Great Frogs 2015 Harness Creek Vineyard Meritage Anne Arundel County, Maryland 13% (USA) $45.00.
80 Great Frogs 2016 Chesapeake White Queen Anne’s County, Maryland 13% (USA) $25.00.
89 Great Frogs 2016 Tanyard Reserve Choptank River Vineyards, Maryland 14% (USA) $35.00.
83 Great Frogs 2016 Queen Anne’s County Reserve, Chardonnay, Maryland 13.4% (USA) $30.00.
85 Great Frogs 2016 Vintner’s White Reserve Queen Anne’s County, Maryland 13.2% (USA) $30.00.
89 Great Frogs 2015 Harness Creek Vineyard Powatinika Red Blend Reserve Anne Arundel County , Maryland 13% (USA) $.00.
89 Great Frogs NV Chesapeake Red Blend , Maryland 14% (USA) $25.00.
85 Great Frogs 2016 Harness Creek Vineyards All Hands On Deck Anne Arundel County, Maryland 18% (USA) $35.00.
86 Great Frogs 2016 Harness Creek Vineyards EastPort Special Reserve Annapolis , Maryland 18% (USA) $60.00.

Fortified Wine

Wine Glass Dessert.jpg
Serve in a Copita
Fortified wines, those inevitable after-dinner elixirs, have been a part of the American wine industry since its inception. The early American taste for fortified wines was well documented, as the signing of the Declaration of Independence was toasted with a round of Madeira. It, along with port and sherry, was the preferred drink of the Eastern aristocracy well into our own century. That the native industry should strive to compete for this market was only natural.

As in much of the wine-producing New World, vintners took a run at sherry (and do to this day), but the results on the whole pale, often quite literally, when compared to the Spanish original. Port, however, has fared beter. While the climate and soil of Jerez has not been duplicated elsewhere, the broiling heat and winemaking practices of the Douro have proven much easier to replicate--perhaps nowhere more so than in California's Amador County and San Joaquin Valley.

Port-style wines are being made beyond California. As might be expected, a certain measure of heat helps; the most successful examples have come from warm states such as Missouri. As the saying goes, a little residual sugar can cover a multitude of sins, but the Missouri ports of producers such as Stone Hill and Mount Pleasant truly stand on their own, and have proven as consistently competent as many California versions.

Fortified refers to wines that have additional alcohol as the result of neutral spirits being added. The most common fortified wines are port and sherry, in which the alcoholic level is between 17% to 20%, higher than a standard table wine of about 13% -14.5%

Additional alcohol technically means these wines can age longer, but that period also depends on the type of wine produced, as some ports and sherries are rather light and need to be enjoyed within a few years of their release.

Given the higher percentage of alcohol, pairing these wines can be tricky, as they could overwhelm milder dishes. For port, rich cheeses, especially blue, are fine, as are walnuts. For a dry sherry, a tomato or cream soup would be an excellent match, while for a sweeter sherry, an almond tart or a simple pound cake with honey would be an excellent match. Otherwise, enjoy these wines on their own.