The Rodney Strong Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013 is sourced from both estate and contracted vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA, Russian River AVA and the Dry Creek AVA, all inside Sonoma County in northern California. Rodney Strong Vineyards (Rodney Strong was a professional dancer, he danced ballet and on Broadway. He said he didn’t think he could be an old dancer, but thought it was very possible to be an old winemaker) was founded in 1959, in 1989 the Klein Family purchased the estate. They are leaders in sustainable farming and wine-making practices and were the first winery in Sonoma County to be carbon neutral. 60% of this Chardonnay went thru malolactic fermentation (changes the naturally occurring tart acid to a more rounded tasting acid) and 60% was fermented and aged in 50% French and 50% American oak barrels, “on lees” (the dead yeast was left with the wine during aging). The 2013 vintage had almost perfect growing conditions yielding excellent grapes and lots of them. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is pale golden-yellow. The nose is buttery, with apple, lemon, lime and pear in vanilla crème. This Chardonnay has bright fruit and citrus flavors, along with an initial burst of acidity that gives this wine some oomph. It starts with crisp apple, grapefruit, vanilla and pear. The mid-palate adds bakery spices, unsweetened pineapple in custard (just a little) and lime. The acidity adds crispness and length. The finish is full and lasts for some time.
The Rodney Strong Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013 is a solid and delicious, taste of Sonoma Chardonnay. I found it for $11 and a quick check of the web showed prices from $9 to $13 (note: Rodney Strong also produces a Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and since that one is sourced from a single AVA it should cost several dollars more). Rodney Strong Vineyards is an excellent producer, the 2013 vintage provided excellent grapes and a couple of bucks either side of $10 is an excellent price.