About a week and a half ago I was invited out to Tar and Roses in Santa Monica for a lovely dinner with Robert Larsen, communications director of Rodney Strong Vineyards.
He invited me out to introduce me to the Rodney Strong Vineyards line, and teach me a bit about their vineyards.
Rodney Strong Vineyards was founded in 1959 by Rodney Strong. It would become Sonoma County’s 13th bonded winery. They have expanded since then and now include 12 estate vineyards in Alexander Valley, Russian River Valley, Chalk Hill, and Sonoma Coast AVAs.
In 1989, Rodney Strong Vineyards became apart of the Klein Family, and owner and proprietor being Tom Klein.
Their tasting room is located at:
11455 Old Redwood Highway
Healdsberg, CA 95448
and is open from 10am to 5pm daily with tours at 11am and 3pm.
Their wines include:
Single Vineyard: Alexander’s Crown, Rockaway, and Brothers Ridge Caberet Sauvignon
Reserve: Symmetry Meritage, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
Estate: Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc
Sonoma County: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay
So during our meal from Tar and Roses we had a bit of everything to choose from including: oxtail dumplings, balsamic glazed ribs, ricotta gnocchi, autumn salad, and pork chops, and a shellfish pot we also happened to try a few wines.
1st one: The Estate Charlotte Home Sauvignon Blanc
Being more of a white wine drinker, I must say, this sauvignon blanc was a favorite of mine. It was refreshing, delicious, and went down smoothly. It had a bit of a savoring taste for me to enjoy after I took my first few sips.
Once our appetizer dishes were set aside, and the pork chops arrived on scene we then tried out the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and the Knotty Vines Zinfandel (just think of how many fun names you can come up with this one!)
The Pinot Noir definitely had a nice aroma to it, and is a favorite for so many. But when asked between the two, since I did try them back to back, I choose the Knotty Vines Zinfandel. It went down smooth, the flavors were there, and it was my chosen wine. It will definitely be one I will be picking up when serving a red wine to guests.
And then I got to take a bottle home with me: The Rockaway: Caberet Sauvignon. The evening we brought out the bottle of wine we made a nice dinner of pork tenderloins with asparagus and sweet potatoes. We poured our wine, and had ourselves a delicious meal.
I was really looking forward to trying out the Cabaret Sauvignon since Rodney Strong Vineyards is known for their Cabarets. The Rockaway definitely had a kick to it. The instant I poured I noticed the color, and it was close to black so I knew it was going to be rich in flavor.
And then I had my first sip. Instant kick, and it had cabaret sauvignon written all over it. This is the type of wine that is meant to be served with a red meat item, or a nice dark chocolate dessert. For the cabaret sauvignon drinkers, you will love this wine.
My SO said it was very bold and rich, unpretentious yet full of flavor with no bitter lingering aftertaste.
My thoughts on the wine: The Rockaway definitely had a kick to it like no other wine I had tried before. It was a good “kick” per se, however, with it’s full flavor, and richness in being a Cabaret Sauvignon this is still a wine I truly have to work up too. I was actually surprised it was labeled as a Cabaret Sauvignon because it reminded me of those merlot flavor qualities.
Disclosure: I was provided with a meal, and a tasting of the Rodney Strong Vineyard wines mentioned above. All opinions are my own or my SO’s.