This 2009 Estate Bottled Norton is definitely our favorite of the 4 Norton’s we tasted for January’s Norton month. We aren’t alone in our preference, as this Norton won the Gold Medal C.V. Riley Award-Best Norton 2011 Missouri Wine Competition and a Gold medal at the 2012 Mid-American Wine Competition, Iowa.
Stone Hill Winery is located in Hermann, Missouri and was originally established in 1847. Stone Hill grew to be the second largest winery in the United States, winning gold medals in eight world’s fairs, including Vienna in 1873 and Philadelphia in 1876. By the turn of the century, the winery was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine per year. Wowza! Then Prohibition hit in 1920 and all the wine and grapes were destroyed. Jim and Betty Held re-started Stone Hill in 1965 and in 2011, Stone Hill produced 260,000 gallons of wine.
From Stone Hill Winery’s website:The Norton grape is a true native American grape of the species vitis aestivalis and the official state grape of Missouri. Since the Norton grape evolved under midwestern, continental growing conditions, it is perfectly suited to our long, warm summers and cold winters. In addition, it is blessed with a natural resistance to all types of fungal disease. Our Estate Bottled Norton is produced from 100 percent estate-grown Norton grapes from our Kemperberg and Cross J vineyards. Careful fermentation on the skins is followed by 12 months of aging in French, Hungarian and American oak barrels. 2,275 cases produced.
The 2009 Stone Hill Winery Norton is the darkest of all 4 Norton’s we have poured:
Once I poured this Norton and took a few photos, the whole room smell of berries. A deeper sniff and I found aromas of oak, earth and pepper.
While the other Norton’s started high or low in flavor intensity, this complex full-bodied dry Norton had a constant high intensity of berry. The second flavor that pops up is a spicy black pepper with an ending of a dry oak berry flavor that lasts for minutes in your mouth. We call this our super smooth favorite Norton.
From Stone Hill Winery’s winemaker:
This is a robust, deeply colored, dry red wine with distinctive Norton varietal character. Aged for one year in French, Hungarian & American oak barrels, this wine shows a complex mix of fruit, spice and oak. Comparable to a Shiraz. Enjoyable now, Norton should be at its best from five to 10 years from vintage date. $18.99. (750 ml)
Nortons pairs with red meat like, steak, barbecue and lamb. It also complements dark chocolates, strong cheeses such as blue and Cheddar, and spicy seafood. We also regularly pair this with chili, pasta and red sauce based dishes.
Producer: Stone Hill Winery
Produced and Bottled: Hermann, MO
Glass used: Riedel O Shiraz glass