February 2014 Oconee Wine Club
Norton was founded by Edmund James Palmer Norton, an English engineer, in 1895. Norton bought the estate and land in Perdriel, Lujan de Cuyo, and planted vines creating a winery soon thereafter. Bodega Norton is the first winery in Argentina south of the Mendoza River. In 1989, Austrian businessman Gernot Langes-Swarovski (of the famed crystal-making family) acquired the winery convinced of the high potential of Argentina.
The Bodega Norton Malbec Reserve 2011 was rated 92 by Wine Spectator and was #36 in their Top 100 Wines of the Year for 2013. What a find this wine is for only $ 19.99 a bottle! A deep red color with hints of purple, this Malbec is expressive on the nose with notes of ripe black fruits, violets, and tobacco. “Toasty yet ripe, showing ample mesquite and mocha notes to the raspberry ganache and rich plum fruit. Silky tannins line the dark, cream-tinged finish. Drink now through 2018. 60,000 cases imported.” Wine Spectator.
The Bodega Norton Chardonnay 2013 comes from Mendoza, Argentina. Fresh with crisp green apple and tropical fruit, this Chardonnay is well structured and balanced with a long finish. Ranging from golden yellow to greenish tones. This wine pairs great with seafood, pasta with light sauces and grilled chicken. What a great value at only $ 9.99 a bottle!
The red for this month comes from a winery in Lodi, California called Klinker Brick called Bricks & Mortar 2011 ( $29.99). Bricks & Mortar is a unique red wine blend comprised of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Petite Sirah and 10% Old Vine Zinfandel. This delicious wine has aromas of currant and plum, coupled with botanical garden notes of mint and thyme. Dense flavors of cassis and spiced plum layer the palate with a silky, rich texture. If you are a Prisoner fan, then this wine will be right in your wheel house.
Great wine begins with a suitable climate and soil, both of which are found in Lodi. Sandy Loam soil coupled with the hot, cold exchange
that graces Lodi from day to night creates a utopic environment to cultivate warm-weather varietals including Zinfandel, Cabernet and Syrah.
A certain level of skill, attention to detail and harvest accuracy is required from the vintner as well. What once began as a grape-growing
community from the early 1900’s until the late 1980’s, Lodi is now a thriving wine-producing region adorned with dozens of wineries, including
The white for this month is the Chimney Rock Sauvignon Blanc 2012 ($ 29.99). The Chimney Rock estate began to take shape in 1980, when Hack and Stella Wilson purchased a 180 acre parcel – which included a golf course – situated on the east side of the Silverado Trail. They built their country house based on Cape Dutch-style architecture and started planting vineyards shortly afterwards. The first 59 acres were planted with a combination of red and white grapes, and the premiere vintage of Chimney Rock estate wines was produced in 1989. In the early 1990s, the Cape Dutch-style winery building (with the massive allegorical frieze of Ganymede, cupbearer to the gods) and the tasting room were added to the estate.
This wine exibits aromas of white peach, citrus and pear. The taste is bright with crisp acidity balanced by rich texture which results from the lees stirring. Great with seafood such as oysters and sushi.