Friday, July 25, 2008

Norton Reserva Malbec 2004

Lujan de Cayo

The little wooden guy shrugs- not great, not bad, and a pretty good price. What's not to like?

From the bottle notes:

Bodega Norton was founded in 1895 at the highest point of the Mendoza River Valley. The estate winery is located in the foothills of the Andes, at altitudes ranging begtwen 850 and 1100 meters above sea level.

"Reserva" is made from carefully selected grapes from vineyards more than 30 years old. The wine is aged 12 months in rench oak barels and then additionally in botles before release.

Our people's passion, together with the harmonious coexistence of fruit and wood over time, have made this a great wine, characterized by elegance and complexity.

The nose of this wine is very powerful, baking bread, black plums and meat, then espresso and cocoa.

Chocolate covered cherries open the palate, folowed by leather and sour cherries. Mouth feel is a little thin, tannins are dusty, and it just feels a bit out of balance. Fruit is not overpowering. Tanins are not overpowering. Alcohol is not overpowering. Nothing stands out as too much or too little, so I have a hard time saying exactly what does not work, but it feels like a jigsaw puzzle that makes a nice picture, but none of the pieces quite fit together. On the other hand, this is an $8 bottle of wine, and at that price point getting a nice picture is a frickin' miracle.


Vanilla, blackberries and cocoa open the nose, which is far lighter than the night before. The wine is warmer than the night before, because I did not store it in the cellar overnight. That may also explain why it was so much hotter, the alcohol making its presence far more obtrusive.

Vanilla and blueberry pie with pepper open the palate. There is a midpalate to this $9 wine, which adds cocoa and leather. Tannins are a bit dusty. The finish is suprisingly long but turns sour at the very end.

This is not a great wine, but it is a great bargain. It is better balanced than the first night. It is also a very good example of a reasoanbly priced malbec. If you have tried it, or you want to introduce a friend to the grape, this is a good way to go.


Sonadora said...

I love your little wooden man. I'm surprised they are growing Norton in Argentina. We see a lot of it around here in mostly tastes like Welch's to me!

dhonig said...

No question some of the Norton is (insert expletive of your choice), but the "Reserva" caught me by surprise.