Diego Surazsky, from Norton led us through a quick presentation about Argentina and its wines, telling us some interesting facts about Argentina, like it’s the 5th largest producer of wine in the world; Argentineans consume 30L of wine per person per year (“my wife does not drink so I have to have 60 to make up for her”); and they consume 60% of their own output – leaving 40% for export. Specifics about Norton included: they produce 12 million bottles a year and they export into 60 countries. Bodegas Norton was established in 1895.
Top three Norton wines of the evening – not surprisingly they’re the reds:
Bodegas Norton 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon - $10.95 … LCBO General List
Unoaked version with monster fruit. A nose of black cherry, blackberry, vanilla and plum. Across the tongue it has a smooth delivery of blackberry, plum, a bit of spice with hints of tannin that’ll smooth with a couple of years age. I would say drink now, if you want it to settle down wait another year or two and it will be ultra smooth. (****)
Bodegas Norton 2006 Reserva Malbec - $18.95 … Vintages January 2010
Aged 12 months in new and 2nd year barrels, then further bottle aged another 10 months.
This is one complex wine that just rolled across the tongue and delivered hit after hit of great flavour. First the nose, where there was chocolate, vanilla, ripe plums and raspberry. Palate-wise this wine never stopped giving – plum, juicy blackberry, vanilla, spice, sweet fruit, some tannins; but it also caressed the tongue all leading to a beautiful finish. (****½)
Bodegas Norton 2006 Privada - $21.95 … Private Order Only
A Bordeaux blend with an Argentinean twist, Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 16 months in new French oak and then bottle aged 12 months before release.
The nose had a very spicy character and doled out cinnamon, black and blue berries and a lovely vanilla fragrance. The taste was tight and closed at first, but over the course of the evening things began to emerge. Spice, black cherry, cinnamon, blackberry and other fruits hidden beneath the tannins – this wine has some longevity to it and will open further with cellaring, try ageing in 5 years or more. (****½)
As for dinner, it really was fantastic and here are some pictures to prove it …