Rodney Strong Vineyards - 2006 Knotty Vines Zinfandel

A couple of weeks back I looked at several wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma. Today The 12 Days of Zin checks in with them to see how they handle this quintessentially California varietal. The 2006 Knotty Vines Zinfandel is 99% varietal with 1% Petite Sirah blended in. fruit was sourced from Alexander Valley (83%) and Russian River Valley (17%). The Russian River vines date back to 1904. The wine was aged in American (71%) and French (29%) oak for 10 months. The suggested retail price for this wine is $20, though it can often be found for about $5 less than that.

A touch of reticence immediately out of the bottle is overcome quickly and within 30 minutes this wine is ready to party. Jam laden berry notes and vanilla fill the nose of this wine. Throughout the palate a solid fruit core is underscored by a persistent undercurrent of spice. The combination of these two together is the wines hallmark. The back of the mid-palate has a touch of a bacon fat note on which leads into a finish filled with white pepper, nutmeg and assorted more subtle spices and lingering berry fruit notes.

What I like most about this selection is that it's a Zinfandel with finesse and elegance but also counterbalanced by some zippy jam laden fruit up front to provide immediate appeal. This wine has sufficient acidity and is nicely balanced. Widely available and attractively priced this is a good bet as a go to zin any night of the week. Drink it in the short term.

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