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Tasting Adam Puchta Missouri Nortons

Tim Puchta is the six-generation owner of Adam Puchta & Sons Winery, located near Hermann on land his ancestor John Henry Puchta planted vines when he arrived from Bavaria in 1839. It is the oldest continuously owned family farm winery in the United States.

Today Tim makes estate Norton and Vignole from grapes grown on the farm and also buys in grapes to make a crowd-pleasing range of wines.

Tim first poured

Rosé NV.
Made from 100% Norton this was served very cold (and it was a cold wet day). Refreshing with cherry flavours.

Estate Norton 2008

This had been aged four years before it was bottled in 2012.
It was soft with generous berry flavours, with a linear core. Like a claret with extra fruit. Showing great promise. Tim says 5-7 years after vintage is optimum for Norton.

Not available at the tasting room is ‘Vintners Reserve Norton’. This is made for wholesalers from bought-in grapes.

Legacy NV
This is 100% Norton. “It’s an entry level wine for people moving from sweet wines,” says Tim. “It’s solera blended to make a smooth easier drinking. We use very heavy toasted American oak which smoothes out sharpness.”

I really liked this inviting wine. It is smooth — which is often a wine code-word meaning sweet but Tim assures me it is bone dry — and lacking acidity. It is very attractive and an excellent introduction to Norton.

Signature.
This is a 17.5% abv ‘super ruby’ style port made from 100% Norton without any oak.
It’s soft and sweet with black chocolate flavours, and delicious.
Tim says “This is very popular, we make 1,000 gallons a year.”

Anniversary Port
This is a 18% abv Late Bottled Vintage (LBV) style port made from 100% Norton. Although the label doesn’t bear a vintage it is actually 2003 vintage. “We can’t change the label without losing the word ‘port’ under the new regulations,” explains Tim. “It is aged in Madeira style. We put it in small oak barrels and leave them outside for seven and a half years. They cook in the heat of summer. We then put it in tank on oak staves for 18 months to fine tune the oak flavours before bottling

This tawny brown wine is a delicately softly sweet sipping wine, with flavours of figs, and a tad heavier and serious than the Signature port,

You’ll find wines to suit all palates in the tasting room, including white varietals from Vignoles, Vidal Blanc and Chardonel. There are sweet wines from Concord and other American varieties and some fun-named wines. But for me, Adam Puchta is the name on some of the worlds finest Nortons.

Adam Puchta Winery
1947 Frene Creek Road
Hermann, MO 65041
www.adampuchtawine.com

Read about my visit to the winery at Adam Puchta Winery - Missouri.

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Peter F May is the author of Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape: Odd Wines from Around the World which features more than 100 wine labels and the stories behind them, and PINOTAGE: Behind the Legends of South Africa’s Own Wine which tells the story behind the Pinotage wine and grape.

Disclosure:. Peter F May travelled to Adam Puchta & Sons Winery at his own expense, and the tasting was complimentary.

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