Varietal: 89% Mourverde; 11% Pinotage
Region: Monticello AVA, Virginia – USA
Winemaker’s Notes: In the glass, this wine presents a deep dark red. The nose is filled with baked cherries, pie crust, and plum. The silky smooth attack features red cherry tart and anise notes leading to an expansive midpalate that showcases blueberry, raspberry, licorice, and charred vegetables. The finish lingers slightly with elements of strawberry, rhubarb, black pepper, and tobacco. Pair with eggplant lasagna, roast chicken, spicy sausage dishes, grilled tofu, or steak salad with onion straws.
My Review: I realized last night while picking out a wine for dinner that while we’ve received two shipments from our Virginia Wine of the Month Club, we’d only delved into the whites so far. Fortunately, a dinner of chipotle steak salad presented the perfect opportunity to open one.
I’ve been to Horton Vineyards before, though I’ll admit that it’s been a long time. I would see them at various Virginia wine festivals, but tended to pass them over, not because I think they make bad wine – quite the opposite, but because in addition to several wines such as the Cotes d’Orange, they also make numerous fruit wines that, unfortunately during a festival, tend to attract hordes of just barely 21 college students that don’t want the bigger bolder wines and want to try the blackberry wines. Mores the pity.
This bottle, however, reminded me of why visiting them in person is a worthwhile endeavor. In the glass the wine was a nice dark red, and on the nose I picked up aromas of cherry most prominently. In the mouth the wine was delightfully smooth and light-medium bodied, with flavors of raspberry and strawberry jumping out for me, with the strawberry being the only one to stick around for the finish.
Paired with our dinner this wine was fantastic – it was smooth and light enough to not battle the bit of spice in the salad, but the brighter notes within the wine were a nice counter as well.
I really liked this wine, and at sub $20 it’s a great value. If you’ve never been to Horton Vineyards I do recommend a visit, especially as they are one of the pioneers of the Virginia wine industry. If you’ve only ever seen them at festivals, then I definitely recommend a trip to their tasting room so you can see what they’re really all about.