Why can’t people be like fine wines and get better with age? I know there are some of you out there who will say, “Oh but you do”. All I can say is when I get up in the morning my ankles and knees are so stiff from repeated injuries I feel like I’m 63. Sigh, I guess it’s inevitable… I’m getting old. At least I won’t go broke seeking out great wines. Last week I celebrated my birthday with a bottle of Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Knotty Vines Zinfandel 2010 for $15. While I definitely can’t drink a $15 bottle of wine nightly (I do need to purchase other things too you know) it is nice to do a very affordable splurge every now and then.
Ruby red in color. Aromatic fresh berry, plum and blueberry on both the nose and palate. Spicy pepper and a hint of black licorice finish. Medium to full bodied with medium tannins and well balanced acidity.
Appellation Northern Sonoma
Varietal 100% Zinfandel
Cellar & Fermentation 16 months in French and American oak barrels
SRP – $25 (hint, hint, I got mine for $14.99 at Total Wine)
The grapes are grown on 15 acres of gnarled vines dating back to 1904 and located just behind the Rodney Strong winery. The vineyards were planted more than one hundred years ago by settlers with a love for wine. The current Rodney Strong Winery is a labor of love intertwining several people and families, the Strongs, Kleins and Tom Sayer.
Born in 1927 Rodney Strong was first a renowned dancer. Having just returned to the US after spending time in Paris, he found he now had a new interest, wine. Retiring from dance in 1959, Strong and his wife Charlotte, opened their first winery, Windsor Vineyard. When asked why he turned in his dance shoes for wine vats, he remarked, “I knew I couldn’t be an old dancer, but I could be an old winemaker.”
In 1979 after a successful career at winemaking, Strong decided it was time to hand over the torch. He contacted Rick Sayre who had worked with legendary winemakers including Andre Tchelistcheff. This same year Tom Klein began working for a consulting company hired to evaluate the potential for Rodney Strong Vineyards. The three met and eventually Tom realized his true passion was wine.
Coming from an agricultural family, in 1989 Klein convinced Strong the winery had potential but needed to be updated. The family purchased the winery and over the next ten years the Klein family funded the purchase of modern wine making equipment bringing cutting edge wine technology to the winery.
In March of 2006, Rodney Strong passed away due to complications following a stroke. The winery truly makes great wines that make you want to get up and dance.