I’ve written about wines from Rodney Strong Vineyards in Sonoma Valley fairly often. For those unfamiliar they’re a sizeable winery that produces numerous tiers of wine across a range of price points and designations. Whether you’re looking for an entry level priced Sauvignon Blanc or a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon they probably have a selection for you. Too often wineries of their size lose control of quality and rely on their name to sell wine. Not so with Rodney Strong Vineyards. They bring a well made, fairly priced product to the table with incredible consistency. Because of their size, many of their offerings are quite readily available. Don’t let the ubiquity of their footprint on store shelves daunt you. I for one know that when wine from Rodney Strong arrives on my doorstep to sample I’m always intrigued. More than anything I’m curious to see if they can keep on keeping on with quality, price and consistency. Today I’ll look at a current release of Cabernet Sauvignon. The Rodney Strong Vineyards 2007 Alexander Valley Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was produced using fruit from their vast Sonoma Vineyards. Rodney Strong has over 200 of their acres under vine, planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon (93%), small amounts of Merlot (4%), Malbec (2%), and Syrah (1%) were blended in. Barrel aging was accomplished over 18 ½ months in a combination of French and American oak. The suggested retail price for this wine is $22.
Cinnamon and Cardamom lead the cavalcade of spice notes that form a wonderful nose which also features dry, dark berry fruit aromas. Throughout the palate the berry fruit theme continues, earth characteristics join in along the way. Plum notes kick in about midway through and lead to the finish which continues the spice parade; black pepper and additional vanilla are of note. This Cabernet Sauvignon has relatively mellow tannins and nice structure. Pair this wine with medium intensity foods or enjoy it on its own.
This wine from Rodney Strong is a good example of Cabernet from Alexander Valley at a reasonable price. I’ve found this offering to provide consistent quality year after year. This is a solid choice for Sonoma County Cabernet and it won’t break the bank.