TASTING REPORT: Rodney Strong New Releases
by Andrew Chalk
Rodney Strong Vineyards, a 50-year veteran of Sonoma County introduced two new wines recently. I was fortunate to be at the media intro.
2019 Rodney Strong Rosé of Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, CA ($25)
Director of Winemaking Justin Seidenfeld describes this as an ‘intentional rosé’, alluding to the fact that the grapes were grown specifically to make rosé wine. Specifically, that means that they are harvested earlier (around 20-21% brix according to the Director of Winemaking). The wine is made entirely in stainless steel (no wood)
His muse for rosé is Domaine Ott, the famed Provencal winemaker. That leads us to expect distinctive wines with poise and precision.
Appearance: Roast salmon fillet
Palate: Medium acid, strawberry flavors, fresh;
Pair with Asian food, goat cheese, or seafood;
2019 Rodney Strong Sauvignon Blanc, Charlotte's Home, Sonoma County, CA ($17)
From the vineyard named after Rodney Strong’s dog ‘attacking’ then winemaker Richard Arrowood believing it was defending Strong’s wife, Charlotte. They made up.
This is a classic new world style of Sauvignon Blanc having considerable fruit in the nose, rather than minerality such as is found in the Loire region of France. Medium acid and moderate herbaceous notes. Interestingly, it is oaked in that 18% is fermented in new French oak given 27 minutes of toasting on the barrels that are seasoned for 36 months. The toast and seasoning render the oak attributes restrained so that they are just a subtle hint in the nose, rather than the whole picture.
Appearance: Light straw;
Nose: Herbaceous, yellow apples, cantaloupe, hints of vanilla;
Palate: Mouth filling fruit. Medium acidity. Yellow apple flavors;