Full Review

Williamsburg Winery

Williamsburg Winery
2015 Limited Release, Norton, Virginia

Pair this wine with:
Beef Pork

Category: Norton

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.2% RS: .4%
91 Points
Gold Medal
Exceptional
$39
2017 Best Norton

Williamsburg Winery
2015 Limited Release, Norton, Virginia

Pair this wine with:
Beef Pork

Category: Norton

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 13.2% RS: .4%
Black violet color. Aromas of berry-vanilla gelato, kiwi, roasted almonds, and peppercorns with a velvety, crisp, fruity medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length boysenberry jam, cedar, and tomato leaf finish with medium tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delightful, serious Norton that will please all types of wine-lovers; a must try at the table.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Fruity, Juicy & Smooth, Oaky & Rich & Full
Aroma Aroma: berry-vanilla gelato, kiwi, roasted almonds, and peppercorns
Taste Flavor: boysenberry jam, cedar, and tomato leaf
Sweetness Sweetness: Fruity
Enjoy Enjoy: Now on its own and with food
Recipes Pairing: Chicken Fried Steak, Roast Pork With Grilled Peaches, Souvlaki
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A delightful, serious Norton that will please all types of wine-lovers; a must try at the table.

The Producer

The Williamsburg Winery

The Producer
5800 Wessex Hundred
Williamsburg, VA 23185
USA
1 757-258-0899

Their Portfolio

89 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Wessex Hundred, Viognier, Virginia 12.7% (USA) $24.00.
82 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Vintage Reserve, Chardonnay, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $32.00.
88 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Petite Fleur, Virginia 10.5% (USA) $28.00.
87 Williamsburg Winery 2014 Four Barrel Cuvee, Virginia 11.4% (USA) $49.00.
85 Williamsburg Winery 2014 Gabriel Archer Reserve, Virginia 11.6% (USA) $42.00.
88 Williamsburg Winery 2014 Adagio, Virginia 11.2% (USA) $72.00.
86 Williamsburg Winery 2016 Governor’s White, Riesling, American 12% (USA) $9.50.
90 Williamsburg Winery 2015 A Midsummer Night’s White, Virginia 12.2% (USA) $14.00.
89 Williamsburg Winery 2016 A Midsummer Night’s White, Virginia 12.7% (USA) $14.00.
87 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Virginia 12% (USA) $19.00.
91 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Barrel Aged Claret, Virginia 12% (USA) $19.00.
84 Williamsburg Winery 2016 Dry Rosé, Virginia 12% (USA) $16.00.
85 Williamsburg Winery 2016 Petite Fleur Limited Release, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $24.00.
88 Williamsburg Winery 2016 Limited Release, Petit Manseng, Virginia 13.7% (USA) $24.00.
88 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Adagio, Virginia 13% (USA) $75.00.
91 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Limited Release, Tannat, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $60.00.
86 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Reserve, Petit Verdot, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $49.00.
87 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Gabriel Archer Reserve Red, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $42.00.
88 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Trianon, Cabernet Franc, Virginia 12.3% (USA) $40.00.
84 Williamsburg Winery 2016 Wessex Hundred, Viognier, Virginia 12.4% (USA) $28.00.
85 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Reserve, Merlot, Virginia 12.5% (USA) $40.00.
91 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Limited Release, Norton, Virginia 13.2% (USA) $39.00.
83 Williamsburg Winery 2015 Wessex Hundred, Petit Verdot, Virginia 13% (USA) $32.00.

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.