Some folks hold certain opinions as truths. When it comes to wine many folks feel that if you want high-end California Cabernet you have to go to Napa Valley. Now I agree there is a ton of excellent Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. However there’s nearly as much of it on the other side of the mountain in Sonoma. Alexander Valley in particular is a wonderful source for tremendously exciting Cabernet. Today I’ll look at one of the single vineyard efforts from Rodney Strong. The Rodney Strong 2007 Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon is a single vineyard effort produced using Alexander Valley Fruit. This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Barrel aging was accomplished over 25 months in all French oak; 42% of the barrels were new. This limited production wine has a suggested retail price of $75.
Strong blackberry aromas burst forth from the nose of this 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. Toast and vanilla bean are present as well. A sweet compote of dark berry fruit flavors is present throughout the layered, full-bodied palate of this wine. These are supported by plum flavors and loads of spice elements such as nutmeg, clove, cardamom and hints of cinnamon. Coffee, dark chocolate and oodles of intense dark berry fruit flavors are present on the finish which has terrific length, persistence and intensity.
This Cabernet is big, bold and brawny to be sure; but give it some air and the finesse emerges with greater clarity. Of course if you’re patient, lay this down for a decade and you’ll be justly rewarded. Regardless, this a truly awesome example of Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and proof positive (if you needed it) that Sonoma County can deliver examples of this grape that are just as compelling as its neighbor. This wine is further evidence that Rodney Strong pushes the envelope of quality and value at every price point.