Two Winners From Rodney Strong For Around $20

2010 Chardonnay, Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill

2010 Chardonnay, Estate Vineyards, Chalk Hill

In 1965, founder Rod Strong was the first to plant chardonnay in what would later be recognized as the Chalk Hill American Viticultural Area (AVA), established officially in 1983. He recognized the region as distinct from the rest of Russian River Valley for its unique chalky white soils, which impart a subtle mineral character to wines grown there.

The 2010 vintage started with a cool and fairly wet spring that remained mostly frost free. The late rains generated a healthy canopy, but one that required careful management to avoid green flavors. The cool spring evolved into an exceptionally cool summer, punctuated by a three day heat spike in August which reduced yields in many varieties. September started out warm and ended the same way, giving us the ripeness we were waiting for, and we harvested the last of our Chalk Hill chardonnay on October 8th.

Barrel fermentation in new and seasoned French oak added toasty vanilla and spice complexities, and during 9 months of barrel ageing, we regularly stirred the "lees" in barrel, which adds a creamy texture and increases richness on the palate. Encouraging secondary fermentation adds additional complexity, and in the glass the wine is both creamy and crisp, with ripe apple, Meyer lemon, wet stone, and spiced vanilla flavors. Enjoy over the next 1-3 years.

SRP: $20 is excellent value. A lovely example of what California can do with Chardonnay. Loved the clean, fresh melon hints and food friendliness.


2010 Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley

2010 Pinot Noir, Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley

Rod Strong was among the first modern wine pioneers with a vision to plant pinot noir in the Russian River Valley. In 1968 he planted our heritage River East Vineyard in the alluvial clay-loam soils adjacent to the winery in Healdsburg. Today the Russian River Valley is well established as one of the premier pinot noir growing regions in the world, and we continue to rely on the original River East Vineyard as a core contributor to our estate vineyard bottling.

The 2010 vintage started with a cool and fairly wet spring that remained mostly frost free. The late rains generated a healthy canopy, but one that required careful management to avoid green flavors. The cool spring evolved into an exceptionally cool summer, punctuated by a three day heat spike in August which reduced yields in many varieties. September started out warm and ended the same way, giving us the ripeness we were waiting for, and we harvested the last of our Russian River pinot noir on October 7th.

Soft and silky, with intriguing floral and crushed pomegranate aromas, this medium bodied wine was aged for 11 months in small French oak barrels, which added a hint of toasty vanilla and spice complexity. Ideal for current enjoyment, this pinot noir will hold nicely over the next 2 to 4 years.

SRP: $20. Soft, easy going and perfect for chicken, light seafood and goat cheese.

 

 

 

Copyright 2012 By Punchin International. All Rights Reserved.

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