Zinfandel and Sonoma County go hand in hand. For my money, most of the best examples of Zinfandel come out of one or another area in Sonoma. Sometimes these wines are single vineyard efforts, other times cuvee style offerings. And in this case we have a widely available wine from stalwart Rodney Strong Vineyards that delivers quality, consistency and sheer pleasure vintage after vintage. Today I’ll look at the 2008 edition of the Knotty Vines Zinfandel. The Rodney Strong Vineyards 2008 Knotty Vines Zinfandel was produced from fruit sourced at Estate Vineyards in the northern part of Sonoma County. In addition to Zinfandel (98%), small amounts of Syrah (1%) and Merlot (1%) are blended in as well. Barrel aging took place in a combination of French (62%) and American (38%) oak over a period of 17 months. This offering which is available nationally has a suggested retail price of $18.50.
Black raspberry, vanilla and a gentle undercurrent of herbs all fill the nose of this 2008 Zinfandel. Cherry flavors of varying types, from red and black to kirsch liqueur are the dominating characteristics through the palate along with an overriding core of spices that accompanies them. Dark chocolate and earth notes lead the finish which has good length; spice notes continue to ring out as well, particularly black pepper. This is a well balanced Zin with good acidity. It’s tasty on its own but as is the hallmark of the Rodney Strong portfolio, this offering is meant to accompany a meal.
Year after year this wine delivers good Zinfandel characteristics and terrific value. It has a suggested retail of $18.50 but if you shop around you’ll find it for close to $15. This wine is a no doubter that you can turn to time and again to provide drinking enjoyment at a reasonable price.