Rockaway Vineyard Walk at the WBC
Slogging up that hill I was silently cursing myself for not riding my bike to work more often, but when it’s crappy weather you don’t think about your upcoming trip to Sonoma Valley and how you should be getting into shape. I thought going to as many tastings as possible before I left would suffice.
Wrong! And now I was paying for it. All part of the US wineblogger conference. I should have followed Joe and Amy (anotherwineblog.com) and done the Russian River vineyard walk. But I’d opted for the Rodney Strong Vineyard walk. It wasn’t really that bad except for a couple of hills. I think I’ve become a bit of a crybaby in my dotage, time was when I’d run up the Himalayas with barely a whimper. Oh, to be 24 again!
We did get a box lunch at the end and the company of Jim Murphy (one of the growers for Rodney Strong) and Doug McIlory (Director of Grower and Vineyard Operations) to take us thru the vineyard. We walked through the Rockaway Vineyard where some of their best cabernet sauvignon comes from and where we ended our walk with a beautiful view of the surrounding Anderson Valley.
We were lucky enough to taste our way through the current vintages of Rodney Strong Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel and the 100%, estate grown, single vineyard cabernet sauvingon, The Rockaway.
The Chalk Hill Chardonnay and Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon Blanc were both excellent examples of California whites, the Sauvignon blanc quite full and fruity with plenty of lush fruit. The chardonnay was quite creamy but not too buttery or oaky with lovely tropical fruit as befits a chardonnay from California.
The highlight of lunch was the Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon 05, which has been involved in some blogger controversy but we kinda skipped over that. The most important thing was the wine itself. What did I think? I thought it was quite well made, lovely balance, well structured with good tannins to handle the loads of black fruits on the palate. A big but not massive wine, a great example of California cabernet. I thought it went great with my turkey and olive sandwich. And even better with oatmeal cookies!
All in all, I don’t care if the others got catered gourmet meals and strolls through the park, I wouldn’t trade the Rodney Strong vineyard walk for anything.