Chrysalis Norton 2011 Recommended by Jancis Robinson MW

Nov 22

Those who follow the Virginia wine scene remember that last July Jancis Robinson MW, editor of the authoritative¬†Oxford Companion to Wine and also one of the earliest wine blogs, (known as the “purple pages”) was the keynote speaker at the national Wine Bloggers Conference in Charlottesville; I also gave her a number of Virginia wines to taste and review.

Last week, not only did she include a Virginia wine in her weekly wine recommendations, but it was a norton; the 2011 Chrysalis estate bottled norton (there are several labels including the barrel select which I poured last week at a seminar at the annual American Wine Society conference).

Robinson was in New York to promote her new two-tome work called simply Wine Grapes (a definitive guide to the subject), and while meeting with some sommeliers, and as she says on her blog, “At one point I found myself raving about the quality of the Norton grape with a fellow sommelier enthusiast… I love its bright fruit, its earthy undertow and what seems like innate balance in most of the examples I have tasted over the years.”

She went on to say she knew “of no one more besotted by Norton than Jennifer McCloud, whose Chrysalis Vineyards in Virginia specialises in the variety.” McCloud sent her a range of her nortons which she included in a piece on “all-American norton” in August. She hasn’t tasted this wine “but I did taste the more expensive Chrysalis, Barrel Select Norton 2011 Virginia, which is stunning. I’m really highlighting this to try to make more people aware of Norton’s respectability and interest value.”

She explains that it can be purchased at Astor in New York, and at the winery itself, who are offering it at $17.¬† She will be including norton in a presentation on interesting wine grapes, “such as that it has twice as high a level of supposedly health-giving resveratrol as Cabernet Sauvignon.” If that isn’t a good enough reason to start drinking local, the fact that it’s the perfect Thanksgiving red wine should be.

The complete post can be found at

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