9/12/2007

Wine Blogging Wednesday #37: Go Native !!


Hello Friends,

When Dezel received word that the good doc, Doctor Vino, was hosting WBW #37 – 'Go Native' wine blog theme, my interest was immediately piqued. Sweetening the deal was when I found that participants would receive major bonus points for drinking a varietal wine in the place where it is grown. With this tidbit of information, I had a very good idea what indigenous American grape variety I was going to feature in my post. After all, I not only drank my WBW selection from the place where it is grown, but purchased it from the place where it is grown. Any guesses friends? If you guessed Norton, then you are correct! Read on as I roll out the red purple carpet for Horton’s Norton.

I intentionally chose to highlight Horton Vineyards brand of Norton wine because Dennis Horton is in fact the pioneering Virginia winery owner that first re-introduced Norton to its long lost home, Virginia. Additionally, giving credit where credit is due, before we jump into Norton, Dennis Horton is also the first in Virginia to produce a Cabernet Franc varietal wine, and the first to successfully grow such varieties as Viognier, Malbec, Petit Manseng, Pinotage, Rkatsiteli, etc. in the Old Dominion. Pretty impressive achievements indeed!

Horton Vineyards Norton 2003

As for our purple carpet star, Norton, winemakers and tasters alike would agree that Norton is the best of the indigenous American grape varieties for making a dry red table wine. Would you Norton lovers agree? Norton is one of Virginia’s more hardy grape varieties, is disease resistant, does not require the constant spraying that the vinifera varieties do, grows vigorously, and is well suited to Virginia’s soil and climate type. Sounds like home sweet home to me for our ‘Virginia Seedling’, right? Most local Norton examples are deep and rich in color, almost opaque, with inviting jammy aromas and intensely flavored. Now, Norton can exhibit overt grapey flavors and high, even sharp levels of malic acid, which is inherent in the variety. This characteristic is usually controlled by a good winemaker, and is one of the reasons why Norton wines have a long cellar life. We will stray away from the mystery that surrounds Norton’s origins and whereabouts and jump right into Horton Vineyard's Norton 2003.

Review: The Horton Vineyards Norton 2003 is an intense and dark colored wine that clocks in at 13% alcohol by volume. On the nose are inviting fruit-filled aromas of plum and berry fruit with subtle 'concord' grapey hints. This wine is big in flavor, especially up front, mellowing out mid-palate with 'meet ya' at the door (firm) acidity and friendly tannins. The finish is medium length with a spicy kick, and at $12 per bottle is a good entry level to intermediate offering. In my opinion, this wine is a better match with foods such as poultry, beef and game dishes, than sipped on its own. For $12, you may just find a new grape to fall in love with!

If you have never tried Horton’s Norton, visit the winery and grab a bottle and taste what the buzz is all about for yourself. If you are out of state give the winery a call at 800.829.4633 and check out Horton’s Norton. While checking out the Norton, you might as well check out the Viognier as well – the 06 is pretty darn tasty. Remember, Horton usually has over 35 wines to sample, no tasting fees, and is one of Virginia’s largest and oldest pioneering producers.


Horton Vineyards - 6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 540-832-7440


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Dezel



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