You are probably are familiar with Rodney Strong wines as they are often on the wine list at restaurants and bars. It’s been a classic brand for the past 60 years.
Did you know that Rodney Strong started his career as a dancer, trained at the New York Ballet, then danced and produced shows at Lido in Paris? It was in Paris that Rodney Strong fell in love with wine, and he followed his passion by eventually purchasing land in Sonoma and growing grapes!
I received some Rodney Strong wines as a sponsored tasting, and I had the fortune to participate in a webinar tasting with Justin Seidenfeld, the winery’s winemaker.
The Rodney Strong brand has been in the process of revamping everything from the vineyards to its image. This rejuvenation of the brand is from listening and responding to trade partners needs.
This wine is now being marketed to conscious connectors – people who have a passion for people, those who work hard and play hard, and those people who value balance in their lives.
There has been a focus on sustainability and they were the first vineyard to offset their carbon footprint in Sonoma County. Solar panels power 50% of their operation. They have also been involved in a 7 year project of redoing the vineyards, promoting soil health and focusing on water management.
I invited a few friends over to sample these wines. We started with the 2020 Rosé of Pinot Noir rom the Russian River Valley. The colour was a lovely pink hue, with classic strawberry on the nose with some citrus. Very fresh with a lingering mineral finish.
The 2019 Chardonnay is a wine that will appeal to most Chardonnay drinkers. It was buttery with some oak to appeal to those who enjoy that style, with some minerality to those people who enjoy that style of Chardonnay. These 100% grapes are from Monterey.
The 2017 Merlot is from Alexander Valley. Lovely deep red colour with some spice on the nose and palate. We noticed some minerality here too.
The 2018 Sonoma County Cabernet was the favourite among my friends. Dark cherry with some peppery notes. Very smooth drinking and easy to drink on it’s own or with food. We enjoyed pairing this wine with Stilton cheese.
The 2018 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, and 1% Syrah. This wine is kept 24 months in French Oak that softens the tannins. I would enjoy this wine with a grilled steak and vegetables.
I suggest revisiting Rodney Strong wines if it’s been awhile! Cheers!