Monday, February 18, 2013

The United Grapes of America - Kansas - Davenport Winery Matrot Norton

When regularly traveling to Overland Park, Kansas - many years ago, I settled Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery and Davenport Winery at least once a month. Holy-Field was easiest to reach, situated not far from Interstates 70 and 435 and on course to the airport. Davenport, on the other hand, required a special trip to Lawrence, about 30 miles away. Fortunately, owner Greg Sipes accommodated my schedule by hosting regular business hours until 7PM on Wednesdays - lucky me. Like their neighbors in Missouri, Kansas wine consumers enjoy a good Norton and a couple Kansas wineries such as Davenport comply. Sipes has produced several styles of Norton, with one being the Matrot Norton, named after the Matrot Castle, a Topeka landmark since 1883 and a clandestine Prohibition hangout. Davenport Winery now operates a satellite tasting facility from the castle.
into a routine where I would visit both

The United Grapes of America The United Grapes of America
Returning to the Matrot Norton, it was made from Kansas grown grapes and aged in used whiskey casks.  I purchased this non-vintage wine in 2006, so it has had six and a half years to mature in bottle. My Missouri friends tell me that you should never open a Norton before three years in the bottle, so this wine should be primed.  The nose starts with an interesting combination of grape (almost concord-ish) and leather, followed by creamy vanilla cherry on the palette. The grapiness completely subsides resembling more of a Cabernet Franc profile particularly with the spicy, green peppery finish. And no trace of the whiskey. Not bad at all and at, I believe $15, easy on the wallet. Also pairs well with leftover Valentine's Day chocolate.

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