Home > Daily Glass, Norton > Daily Glass: Norton, a True American Grape

Daily Glass: Norton, a True American Grape

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Today was my wife’s 19th anniversary of coming to US, so I was looking for the appropriate wine to celebrate. I didn’t have anything from 1993. There were ’86, ’88 and ’90, but somehow opening those wines didn’t make too much sense. And then I saw a bottle of Norton. No, it was much younger than 19, but Norton is often called a True American Grape, so it should be perfect for the occasion.

So I pulled this bottle of 2005 Chrysalis Vineyards Norton Estate Bottled from Virginia (12.8% ABV), which I got during our visit to Chrysalis Vineyards about two years ago (here is the post about it). Somehow, from the moment the cork was pulled, the wine worked perfectly. It had that hint of barnyard aroma, just a hint, as much as you get from the well made Loire Cabernet Franc – a bit of explicit earthiness on the nose. On the palate, it was very restrained and balanced, quite dry – somewhat similar to Barolo, only without a bear claw grip of tannins, with some leather and again earthy notes. As the wine warmed up, it showed more fruit, some raspberries and plums, with good acidity, and it stayed very balanced until, well, the bottle was empty. In terms of rating, I will put Drinkability at 8.

I’m sure this wine will continue evolving – but this was my only bottle, so it is what it is. Oh well, at least it was a good bottle of wine, so no regrets here. Cheers!

P.S. I’m purposefully avoiding mentioning the debates, which were also an all American event today – let me only tell you that the wine was far more superior than the 5 minutes of debates I watched…

  1. October 23, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I think you watched a bit more than I did! Congratulations to your wife!

    • talkavino
      October 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Thank you!
      Yeah, those debates were a bad example for kids – “don’t interrupt” is exactly what we are trying to teach them… Anyway, but the wine was good : )

  2. October 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Norton grape – that sounds kinda funny – remineds me of that Anti-Virus company.

    Good to hear that the wine was good! 🙂

    • talkavino
      October 24, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      Well, Norton stands as a pretty important grape in the American winemaking, and if you try some of the Norton wines, there is nothing funny about them – they are good wines

      • October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

        No doubt that you are right that they are good wines 🙂
        I did a little research on the grape. Now I know a bit more about American wine again.. Just never ever saw a wine made from this grape in the Enotecas over here. So excuse me for finding the name funny in my first comment.

        • talkavino
          October 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm

          don’t feel bad – Norton wines are hard to find even if you live in US – unless you live in a close proximity of the actual winery, they are not freely available in the wine stores…
          And as far as strange name is concerned, the grape was simply named after Daniel Norton, the person who first created it.

  3. rhodies
    October 31, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Norton wines are not as impossible to find as one might think. Today there are 264 Norton [Cynthiana] wineries in 25 states. Most of these wineries are found in the Southeast and mid-west. After tasting over 120 Norton wines, we have found favored examples in GA (2), AK (1), PA (1), VA (3), TX (1), KY (2) and MO (6). All need to mature five or more years and to extensively breathe for 40 minutes or so before enjoying. For the complete story, read Todd Kliman’s book on the Norton grape, The Wild Vine.

    • talkavino
      October 31, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Thank you for the comment. My preference would be if my local wine store would carry the Norton wines – I don’t like dealing with shipping hassles, and I believe many wineries can’t ship to Connecticut. But I definitely enjoy finding the local gems when travel : )

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