Splendor in the Glass

Arturo Ciompi's blog on wine

Rodney Strong Today

Tag icon Published under Weekly Tastings

Clock icon March 3, 2013

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Classically trained dancer Rodney Strong put down roots in California (as a resident and a wine maker) in the late 1950s. His wines took a fascinating ride with quality rising and falling over the past 50 years. But in the last 2-3 years, I’ve noticed a serious uptake in the overall quality of these nationally distributed wines. From the “Charlotte’s Home” (Strong’s wife) Sauvignon Blanc to the “Rockaway” single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, these are wines to seek out for quality and value.

2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Charlotte’s Home, Northern Sonoma  $15 srp

Wet stone, grassy elements, melon and chalky pineapple all inhabit the fresh bouquet. Snappy citric flavors are moderated on the pear-laden mid-palate, but the finish again turns lively, uplifting and lemon/lime tinged. Fresh fish, scallops or a couscous salad will all be enhanced. Drink now-2014.

87/100 points

2010 Pinot Noir, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Russian River Valley $20 srp

Classic Burgundian color. Overt and supple, this Pinot delivers fresh cut roses, leather, ripe strawberry compote and cola notes on the nose, with lively spice-box overtones and judicious oak. Flavors are brisk, yet mouth-filling. Pure fruit elements are in balance with a tannic structure that promises further development. Drink now-2016.

88/100 points

2008 Rockaway, Single-Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rodney Strong Vineyards, Alexander Valley $75 srp

Radiant, Italian plum skin color. Dense, sweet-scented nose of perfect ripeness, with fecund earth, graphite and lavender atop black cherry and black currant. There’s a freshness and over-arching grace in the bouquet that is more reminiscent of left-bank Bordeaux than Sonoma. Thrilling, with mouth-filling plum and minerality. Grip and dry tannins promise a long, expressive life ahead. If drunk now, try to uncork in the morning for that evening’s pleasure. (84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Malbec, 4% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot) Drink now-2023.

94/100 Points




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