Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Rodney Strong Vineyards/Greg Morthole /Alexander Valley Cabernets
Alexander Valley is just one of the many AVAs that Rodney Strong Vineyards has great world class vineyards in.Today we will explore the three Cabernets made from the vineyards of Rodney Strong in this fabled valley.First we will tell you of the history and tasting notes from these amazing wines. An early pioneer in Sonoma County, our founder, Rod Strong, was the first to craft a Single Vineyard Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, one of the first to plant Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley and the first to produce a Chalk Hill Chardonnay. Today, Winemaker Rick Sayre and the Klein family continue their drive for innovation and devotion to Sonoma County, with 14 exceptional estate vineyards representing an exquisite range of varietal selection and regional terroir. “Terroir” a French term which by definition includes an array of variables. Grape vines can be grown nearly anywhere in the world that offers soil and sunlight. Yet, it is more important to note that certain regions outshine all others. Why? Because grape vines establish an unusual symbiotic relationship with their environment. Deeply rooted in the soils, the vines respond to tiny changes in elevation, slope, sun exposure and weather patterns, absorbing all of these elements in endless combination and delivering them with an almost magical alchemy into the fruit they produce. This is terroir. Perhaps in more than any other agricultural product, when it comes to winegrowing - place matters. “Place is not everything. But place is the most important thing. When you discover a passion for something, whether it’s golf or jazz, politics or poetry, you want to live it and breathe it.” - Tom Klein, Proprietor The 2014 Alexander's Crown exhibits flavors of black and red cherry, blackberries, dried herbs and violets. The wine is elegant, with a rich mouthfeel, soft tannins and a long lingering finish with a touch of mocha. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. HISTORY The Alexander Valley AVA is 22 miles long, ranging in elevation from 150 to 1500 feet above sea level, and is home to our three single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Our winegrowers have found the very best grapes grow on higher elevated western slopes, or as they say, the “sweet spots”. Spread throughout our three vineyards, we’ve determined the best blocks are typically located just below the ridge tops with a western facing aspect to capture the full warmth and light of the afternoon sun. In the northernmost hills near our Brothers vineyard, with average growing-season temperatures of 67 degrees, heat dominates, allowing Cabernet Sauvignon to ripen well. In the middle of the valley, Rockaway vineyard, with average temperatures of 62 degrees, balances heat and Pacifi c Ocean cooling breezes – allowing for classic structure development. The even cooler Alexander’s Crown vineyard, with average temperatures of 59 degrees in the southern valley, yields more delicate, “feminine” style Cabernet Sauvignon. In the distance of only 12 short miles, average temperatures change eight degrees among our vineyards during growing season, thereby allowing three very different expressions of Cabernet Sauvignon. THE VINEYARDS Established in 1971 and recognized as the first vineyard in Alexander Valley to produce a single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander’s Crown vineyard is perched on a hill in the south of the Alexander Valley just west of Jimtown. Encompassing 63 acres, the vineyard is in the first part of the valley to feel cool Pacific breezes each afternoon. We use Block 1, the top 15 acres of well drained red volcanic soil to craft this wine, resulting in intensely flavored Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2014 Rockaway has wonderful concentrated flavors of black cherry, red currant and plum with a hint of sage and leather. The earthy minerality of the wine is balanced out by notes of baking spices with a rich, complex structure and a long lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. THE VINEYARDS Established in 1994, Rockaway is planted mostly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, but includes all five of the classic Bordeaux varieties. Rising up to an elevation of 750 feet, the land generally slopes northeast and southwest, with soils comprised of gravelly clay subsoil over fractured sandstone. This well-drained, low pH earth tends to encourage the production of small-berried clusters, ideal for making a bold, concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon with juicy red and black fruit character, and an elegantly round and seductive mid-palate. The 2014 Brothers is a deeply rich wine with complex dark fruit flavors. The wine is voluptuous and is bursting with blackberry, plum and wonderful chocolate notes followed by a round and seductive mid-palate and a long lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now or cellar it for enjoyment in 8 to 10 years. In the hills to the east of the small town of Cloverdale, Brothers spans 141 acres, nearly all planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, with smaller amounts of other Bordeaux varieties. The vineyard is on well-drained loam underlain by sandstone, shale, and ancient greenstone. Its elevations, surpassing 1,000 feet, and its primarily western aspect perfectly situate the vines to capture the full warmth and light of the afternoon sun, ripening Cabernet well into the chocolate and black fruit profile, with exceptional richness. Please join us as we enjoy a great audio feature with Greg ,on these fabled vineyards. Click on the link below,and thanks for joining us!Cheers! Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Rodney Strong Vineyards .