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March 11, 2008
It's not often anyone describes a wine as tasting like grapes. In fact, I've heard and read that it's considered poor form for a wine to taste like grapes. But since it's made of grapes, it just doesn't seem wrong to me for wine to actually taste like grapes on occasion, rather than the myriad of other fruits, vegetables, meats, leather, earth, spices, etc., that can be found in wine.

The wine was a 2006 Rapphannock Cellars Norton. We picked this bottle up at Rappahannock Cellars early this winter for about $17.50, it clocked in at 13.3% alcohol by volume, and had a real cork closure.

It literally smells like Welch's Grape juice. I know grape juice is made of Concord grapes, but if I didn't know this was wine, I would have thought it was Welch's. In case you don't know, Norton is a grape that is actually native to North America, and is grown primarily here in Virginia and Missouri, I believe. I've seen it at a few vineyards here and I haven't been such a fan, but I really thought this was a fun version of it. In addition to the grape juice on the nose, I found grape Pixie Stix, so grape juice with a tart, sour note. It tasted exactly the same as it smelled.

Overall I'd describe the wine as adult Welch's, grape juice with a kick. I really liked the slightly sour note. A fun take on the Norton grape.


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