Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I picked this wine up two years ago at the Kickapoo Creek winery in Illinois.  I was visiting some friends in the area and we stopped for a tasting at the winery.  Out of twenty some wines this was the one I found palatable.  I really didn't care for their chocolate wine.

Norton is a unique grape in that it is not a vitis vinifera grape, it is a vitis aestivalis and was first isolated in Virginia.  It is also unique in being one of the very few native grapes that doesn't have the "foxy" off putting taste that most native grapes do, though most are vitis labrusca.  More info on the grape here.

I took this wine to the picnic last Saturday that is discussed below.  So how did it taste?  Pretty good, but not great.  Very dark color and a nose of heavy grape and black cherry, but they were unusual and not the typical taste of cherry one gets in most wines.  Let's call it very, very ripe black cherry. Very lush mouth feel.  There was decent acid and some good tannin.  The most unusual part was the finish.  The wine was going along great, one got a hint of sweetness and then it just stopped.  It went from flavorful to "gone" in a matter of a second.  The next sip produced the same results, as did any sip the rest of the evening.

All that said, it was a highly drinkable wine and had it's charms.  No one at the picnic disliked it.

The wine was not vintage dated, but according to the folks at the winery is was a mixture of the 2006 and 2007 vintages.

13% alcohol and $16.


Anonymous said...


TNWT said...

There are now 246 Norton (Cynthiana) wineries in 23 states with Illinois having 27 of these vineyards. To get a better appreciation of the Norton grape, read Todd Kliman's The Wild Vine. A documentary of this grape and the American wine industry that reads like a novel. Available in HB & PP. We look forward to possibly exploring this fall Illinois' Norton wineries.