Sometimes in life, it’s not about the money. At least that was the case when Austrian Billionaire Gernot Langes-Swarovski decided to purchase Bodega Norton – one of Mendoza’s oldest properties and the only one which sits among the vines in the traditional manner. But this was no idle investment, Gernot spared no expense in perfecting a world-class winemaking facility and team – even installing his son to oversee the entire operation.
The accolades poured in immediately, but they’ve grown even more spectacular since up-and-coming winemaker, David Bonomi joined the team in 2002. David made several ‘up and comer’/’winemakers to watch’ lists before landing on “Decanter’s South America’s Top 10 Winemakers” list in 2017. Then in 2020, Bodega Norton’s 125th anniversary, Bonomi earned the title of ‘Winemaker of the Year’ from Decanter’s preeminent South American wine writer, Tim Atkin.
The ascent in recognition was spearheaded by almost universal record high ratings from the press. But one wine quietly existed for decades without a single rating or review. Because when you don’t need the money … you can set aside the estate’s most mature parcels for an estate-grown single bordeaux-styled cuvee each year, reserved just for family and friends.
Known just as ‘Privada Family Blend’, this has been slowly released to the general public over the last several years. Consequently the press has caught up. You may remember Suckling gave the last Privada that we offered (2017 vtg) a big 95-point score. That kind of praise is usually reserved for the big named wineries in Napa and beyond… not usually for Argentina. But now, the Privada has become one of the most decorated wines in the entire country.
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93 Points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
There’s better integration of the oak and better balance, harmony and elegance in the 2021 Privada Family Blend. It was produced with 40% Malbec and 30% each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from vineyards in Luján de Cuyo. It feels very integrated, with each variety adding aromas and flavors and coming through as complex and powerful. This has to be one of the finest vintages for this bottling. Maybe they used less new barrels.
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