Full Review

Cross J Vineyards

Cross J Vineyards
2013 Estate Bottled Red Wine, Norton, Hermann

Pair this wine with:
Game Pork

Category: Norton

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.4% RS: .2%
90 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$25.99
Cellar Selection

Cross J Vineyards
2013 Estate Bottled Red Wine, Norton, Hermann

Pair this wine with:
Game Pork

Category: Norton

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.4% RS: .2%
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of spiced limes, cedar, pistachio brittle, and chocolate berries with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, medium-long finish that presents notes of roasted root vegetables, pomegranate, nutskin, and vanilla cream with chewy, crunchy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A nicely oaked Norton with serious structure for the hunter’s table or the cellar.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Juicy & Smooth, Rich & Full, Savory & Oaky
Aroma Aroma: spiced limes, cedar, pistachio brittle, and chocolate berries
Taste Flavor: Same as aromas with notes of roasted root vegetables, pomegranate, nutskin, and vanilla cream
Sweetness Sweetness: Dry-yet-Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: Now-3 years with food and on its own
Recipes Pairing: Venison, Grilled Boar, Souvlaki
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A nicely oaked Norton with serious structure for the hunter's table or the cellar.

The Producer

Stone Hill Winery

The Producer
1110 Stone Hill Highway
Hermann, MO 65041
USA
1 573-486-2221

Their Portfolio

90 Cross J Vineyards 2013 Estate Bottled Red Wine, Norton, Hermann 13.4% (USA) $25.99.
86 Cross J Vineyards 2015 Estate Bottled, Norton, Hermann 13.9% (USA) $24.99.
84 Stone Hill NV Sweet Red Wine, Concord, Missouri 11.5% (USA) $7.99.
84 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled, Vidal Blanc, Hermann 12.8% (USA) $7.99.
85 Stone Hill 2015 Semi-Sweet , Vignoles, Missouri 12% (USA) $11.49.
86 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled, Traminette, Ozark Mountain 12% (USA) $11.49.
92 Stone Hill 2014 Red Wine, Chambourcin, Missouri 13.2% (USA) $12.99.
90 Stone Hill 2014 Estate Bottled Red Wine, Norton, Hermann 13% (USA) $19.99.
88 Stone Hill NV Hermannsberger Brand Red Blend, Missouri 13% (USA) $11.49.
88 Stone Hill NV Steinberg White Blend, Missouri 12% (USA) $11.49.
87 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled Reserve, Vignoles, Ozark Mountain 14% (USA) $15.99.
84 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled Reserve, Traminette, Ozark Mountain 12.7% (USA) $15.99.
90 Stone Hill 2010 Blanc de Blanc Methode Champenoise, Missouri 12% (USA) $18.99.
87 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled, Norton, Hermann 13.8% (USA) $17.99.
86 Stone Hill 2016 Estate Bottled, Vidal Blanc, Hermann 12.8% (USA) $7.99.
86 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled, Chardonel, Hermann 13.8% (USA) $9.99.
92 Stone Hill 2015 Chambourcin, Missouri 13.2% (USA) $14.99.
84 Stone Hill NV Steinberg Semi-Sweet Red, Missouri 12.8% (USA) $9.99.
88 Stone Hill NV Dry Rosé, Missouri 12.8% (USA) $9.99.
89 Stone Hill 2016 Semi-Sweet White, Vignoles, Missouri 12% (USA) $11.99.
86 Stone Hill 2016 Estate Bottled Semi-Dry White, Traminette, Ozark Mountain 12.2% (USA) $11.99.
89 Stone Hill 2015 Estate Bottled Reserve, Chardonel, Hermann 13.8% (USA) $24.99.
86 Stone Hill NV Camellia Sweet Rosé, Missouri 8% (USA) $9.99.
86 Stone Hill 2016 Ozark Hellbender Red Blend, Ozark Mountain 13% (USA) $9.99.

Norton

Wine Glass Zinfandel.jpg
Serve in a Zinfandel Wine Glass
Norton was originally propagated in 1835 by D.N. Norton in Richmond, Virginia. The grape was the final product of Norton's efforts to develop a varietal that would be eminently suited to Virginia's warm and humid climate. Norton became the workhorse grape of Virginia's Monticello Wine Company in the late 1800s; the resultant wines won notoriety in tastings as far away as Paris. Thus, Virginia at that time became the center of the Eastern wine industry, and "Virginia Claret" was known far and wide. As is often the story in the US, prohibition changed all; the Virginia industry was flattened overnight.

Fortunately, small quantities of norton had gravitated west to the vineyard areas of Missouri, as Missouri vintners were quick to realize the grape's affinity for their climate. It is here that small quantities survived prohibition and continue to be cultivated to this day. It was somehow ironic that the torch for Jefferson's dream of producing a Virginia claret was for many years burning most brightly 1000 miles to the west. Finally, in the late 1980s, Dennis Horton of Horton Vineyards brought cuttings of norton back to the Old Dominion from Missouri. The swashbuckling Horton, whom many consider the Randall Graham of the east, has been looked on with some bemusement for his norton revival; but the commercial and critical success he has received thus far may well portend further plantings.

Today, in both Virginia and Missouri, norton makes a very attractive red table wine. It is deep and inky in color, with a fragrant, plummy character. Though low in tannin, it is often aged in barrel--and in the case of Missouri's Mount Pleasant Winery, it is quite heavily extracted and well structured. In character, it might be most easily described as lighter in body than a merlot, while fuller than a pinot noir, with a natural streak of lean acidity. Eastern sangiovese, perhaps?

Norton has a deep color (crimson, purple) and aromas and flavors of plums, maraschino cherries and chocolate. Most examples are aged in oak, with many fermented in wood as well. Medium-full, many examples age well for five to seven years or longer. Pair with most red meats (especially lamb) or strong aged cheeses.