2010 Grove Winery Norton is made from Norton, is one of the few non-foxy native American varietals, that’s little known outside of the eastern / midwestern US. This may even be generous as many individuals in these regions most likely have not heard of this grape. So why grow such an unknown grape?
Aside from not being foxy, Norton has the distinct advantage of being a deeper, darker skinned grape that’s resistant to a whole host of diseases and rots. Aside from needing a longer growing season, these advantages help Norton to develop deeper, more complex flavors than might be associated with American varietals. These factors make Norton particularly well suited to climates like Virginia and North Carolina. Can 2010 Grove Winery Norton cash in on this unique grape’s characteristic that make it one of the best native varietals, or does it have a way to go to compete with the Europeans?
Sight: A brick red-dull purple, and there’s a slight reddish-brown hovering near the edge.
Smell: A ton of raspberry and strawberry complimented by earthy and spicy notes.
Sip: There’s a bright kick of acid that leads off, and sticks the landing. The body is a nice moderate weight. There are a lot of earthy notes and spices, but the red fruit is definitely present behind it, channeling heavily from currants, cranberries, and raspberries. Tannins are very light. [A.B.V. 13%]
Savor: There’s a slight uptick of caramel apple and condensed red berries, before the wine leans heavily into spicy earth, almost channeling garigue and dark, loamy soil.
2010 Grove Winery Norton has an amazing sense of place and a strong red fruit flavor. Thanks to the more acidic nature, this wine almost screams for food. Combined with the inherent spice and fruit, 2010 Grove Winery Norton could pair very well with a lot fare like poultry or pizza. For Thanksgiving the spices will help balance the turkey and the sides, while the fruit will keep the meal lively. While it’s a bit more on the expensive side, this is a fun, high acid, lighter bodied alternative to more traditional reds. Definitely worth a try.
Verdict: Spicy Earth, Popping Red Fruit, Energetic
Guilford County, North Carolina