The next wine I'm looking at from Rodney Strong is a Cabernet Sauvignon. As ubiquitous as Cabernet Sauvignon from California can be, it's amazing how many variations there are due to style and region. Amongst their vast offerings Rodney Strong Vineyards makes a host of Cabernets. Some are vineyard designates and some are regional. The one I'm looking at today is appellation specific. That appellation is the Alexander Valley. On the Sonoma side Alexander Valley is the area I personally feel makes the type of Cabernets that can compete with the best of Napa Valley. The 2005 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon from Rodney Strong Vineyards was sourced from estate fruit. The suggested retail price for this wine is $25 and it's generally available in the upper teens.
Dark plum, vanilla, nutmeg and gentle cinnamon notes absolutely light up the nose of this wine from the moment you pour it in the glass. The first thing that's apparent when I took an initial sip was that this Cabernet is smooth and accessible out of the bottle. Tons of light and dark cherry notes are prominent throughout the palate of this wine. Spice notes become prominent at the end of the mid-palate and carry through the finish which is slightly above average. A hint of trademark Alexander Valley smokiness also cones out in the finish and is amongst the components that help this wine stand out.
What impresses me most about this wine is its immediate accessibility and appeal from the moment it's poured. Decanting allows it to shine a little more, but this one is essentially ready from the word go. This is a well made Cabernet Sauvignon made to drink young. At a relatively modest price this is a good selection in serious Cabernet to drink over the next few years while the more expensive bottles in your cellar are aging.
Up Next: Rodney Strong Vineyards - 2006 Reserve Russian River Chardonnay
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