Rodney Strong Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon 2006

Continuing along the lines of yesterday’s wine, this is another ‘high-end’ wine that appears to be primarily stocked by supermarkets. Again, good friends brought this bottle over to share with a pizza, but we wound up drinking something else entirely, so here I am sitting at home enjoying this one on my own for a change.Optically less severe than the Gallo, this wine looks something like dark coffee with a reddish tint. It’s got very obvious legs as well, which (to me) promises a rockin’ good time; all I need to do is find some barbecue or pizza and I suspect I’d be set. The nose is vaguely woody but ultimately dumb; it’s like candy floss/cotton candy in a walk-in, wood paneled closet. Not bad, but again not really wine (at least not to me).The surprise comes when you actually drink some of this: it’s bright and acidic, with pretty firm tannins supporting it all. However, it does seem like something’s been kinda fucked with here: the acidity doesn’t seem right for a wine this sweet (acidification?), and the tannins seem flown in from somewhere else entirely; It’s all kind of disjointed and jarring, and after it all quiets down, you’re left with a sense of jammy sweetness and some lingering acidity at the back of your throat. Not really my idea of a good time: if you’re going to go for happy fun time party wines, might as well find yourself a Chris Ringland cheapie, I reckon. Over time, it all gets slightly better, but still: if you’re spending this much money, there have got to be better options. $8 Aussie cab is more fun, and $18 Loire reds are more interesting, to name a couple of other options at random.All in all, this reminds me of an interesting experience I had many years ago at a Bay Area winery. An old friend (and my then-current boss) was winemaker there, and he went through a lot of work to save some wines that hadn’t turned out quite right the first time around. Using every trick he learned at UC Davis, he was able to deliver something drinkable – but only if you didn’t think about it too much. If you did, you began to realize that Mother Nature could never have produce what you were drinking, which made for a surreal experience.This wine is the equivalent of bad techno.PS. As an aside, this has been a hell of week for cork taint: both a bottle of Dolium Malbec 2002 (which I brought back from the winery, even) and a bottle of the Olivier Guyot Marsannay Favieres Vielles Vignes 2005 were dead on arrival. Grrr. Thankfully, however, Ed at The Wine Exchange cheerfully refunded my $15 for the Marsannay – now that’s good customer service. 🙂Rodney Strong
Price: $18
Closure: Cork

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