2015 Rodney Strong "Reserve" Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1403856 97 points Decanter

 Wonderfully refined, sumptuous and complex. Notes of dense ripe red fruits, generous blackcurrants and warm spice with cedar wood, tobacco, dark plum and chocolate. Powerful and rich yet with real elegance and finesse.  (5/2019)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Rich, lush and structured, the 2015 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon displays intense aromas of black currant, cassis and crushed violet. This wine is velvety with a smooth, lingering finish of herbal notes, vanilla and cocoa. Visitors to the winery often ask what "Reserve" Cabernet Sauvignon means to us. It’s simple. Reserve means the winemaker’s careful blend of individual Cabernet Sauvignon lots made from time tested, meticulously farmed sections of some of the very best hillside vineyards in Alexander Valley and from our Cooley Ranch vineyards in the mountains north of Lake Sonoma. Select areas within each vineyard are hand harvested individually, fermented separately and aged in the finest French oak barrels."

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Price: $39.95

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Product Reviews:

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By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/4/2019 | Send Email
A bold, expressive nose full of toast and smoke greets you from the glass. On the palate the wine has lots of barrel spice and a fair amount of tannin, for an elegant wine. This wine shows more of the Alexander Valley elegance and size than power, yet it finishes with a sturdy grip.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2019 | Send Email
There is a ton of dark, black cherries on the nose of this wine. At moments, nearly reminiscent of cherry cordial, this is a big, rich and velvety Cabernet. The palate the tannin is softened, with just a hint of tannin and plenty of sweet fruit. This is all about soft, delicious, decadent fruit character. Really nice wine.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/7/2019 | Send Email
This Reserve Cab from Rodney Strong aims to be a bridge between new world and old world Cabs. It succeeds quite nicely at that goal and got 97 points from Decanter to show for it. It starts off as a fairly big wine, full of luscious dark fruit, tart acidity, and a little earthiness. As it progresses, the fruit comes out even more boldly, but it never gets to the point of being juicy. There's a good amount of toasted oak and big tannins to provide great structure and spice. This wine is ready to drink now if you like a more fruit-forward Cali style Cab, but it's certainly set up to age elegantly and will develop more Bordeaux-type qualities as it matures in your cellar.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/3/2019 | Send Email
This walks a beautiful line between classic and modern. There's an old school feel about the moderate extraction and savory aspects of this delicious Cab. But there's also generous ripe fruit and plenty of flashy, smoky oak. It's perfectly proportioned and refined with resonating flavors of smoked plum, red currant, cocoa nib, scorched cedar, pipe tobacco and new leather. Approachable now but with plenty of power for a long life in the cellar. A great showing from Rodney Strong and a perfect example of how top Sonoma Cabs can hang with the big guns from Napa at a fraction of the price!
Top Value!

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).