OK, after the fight with UPS I just had to see if the prize was worth it so I cracked open a bottle of the Westphalia Vineyards 2006 Norton Reserve. Oh what a treat (and no, I am not letting its origins cloud my judgment... come taste it for yourself). For those not familiar with the Norton grape (another American varietal, this time red), this wine makes me think that a Zinfandel and a Syrah had a child. The color is a beautiful deep purply-red and produces firm, thick legs in my Riedel. The nose delivers peppery spicy goodness complementing the currant and berry fruits which are transported into the mouth along with a hint of vanilla (interesting note, Westphalia uses Missouri Oak for its barrels making Westphalia Vineyards the closest I can do in "buying Missouri") where we have the flavors mixed with balanced tannins and acid and providing a medium-long finish. The mouthfeel is interesting... it starts off a little soft but firms up the farther it goes through its finish. The juicy fruit makes me smack my lips after each taste and for some reason I cannot stop "sniffing" the wine (it's triggering something from my childhood but I cannot quite tell what it is).
This is a fabulous wine. I wish I had a nice juicy grill-seared steak (I can definitely see this as an alternative to the typical Zinfandel served at cookouts). This is a pretty big wine, drinkable now but should be able to keep a few more years. If you like Zins and Syrahs this wine from a young winery definitely deserves a checking out.