Saturday, November 28, 2009

***+ $$ Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec, 2006, Mendoza, Argentina - Wine Review and Rating

Find Norton Reserva Malbec at WineZap.

By way of background: Bodega Norton Reserva Malbec hails from the Mendoza region of Argentina, definitely an area known and recognized for its world-class malbec production. Bodega Norton is a venerable estate winery, founded in 1895. All grapes for the Norton Reserva label are selected from vineyards at least 30 years old. The wine is aged 12 month in French oak, and finished at 14% alcohol.

In the glass: Bodega Norton is deep purple, turning opaque only a quarter inch in from the edge of the glass. Sturdy-looking stuff!

On the nose: Poured without a decant and swirled vigorously, this malbec shows a modest aroma only of helium balloon - classic for some new world red wines without a decant. That will blow off with some time.

On the palate: The palate brings forth much more character, first bringing sweet black and red fruit right to the center of your palate. The fruit - almost a rich blackberry liqueur - comes with solid, layered, sweet tannins, and crawls out to your cheeks.

And the finish: Not long, but some bramble wood comes in after the fruit for a satisfying finish. Complete in itself, it doesn't make you chase back for another sip.

In summary: Solid experience. What the nose lacks, the palate delivers. Sweet, rich, layered and comtemplative. Three stars on the five-star Spirit of Wine scale, with an added plus for full-on experience. Very good value.

Wine Spectator awarded 90 points and reported, "Very toasty offering, showy mocha and spice aromatics, but there's also plenty of flesh, with lush raspberry, fig and plum notes that follow through on the long, polished finish. Drink now through 2010. 52,000 cases made."

Find Norton Reserva Malbec at WineZap.

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