It’s not often I get the opportunity to work with a brand that I’ve adored and enjoyed for 10+ years, so when Rodney Strong reached out wanting to partner for their new brand Upshot, I jumped at the chance, confident knowing it would be a wine I could stand by.
Upshot: The final or eventual positive outcome or conclusion of a discussion, action, or series of events. Upshot gave winemaker, Justin Seidenfeld, the path to be creative in blending these varietals into wines that represent his passion for winemaking, love of life and appreciation for living in the wine county. He admits he is fortunate to experience this culture each and every day.
Rodney Strong Vineyards has been around for over 55 years, their story began when Rod Strong, a celebrated American dancer, chose to move to Sonoma County to pursue a second lifelong passion for winemaking. At the time, Rodney Strong Vineyards was only the 13th winery bonded in the newly revealed Sonoma County. Rodney Strong Vineyards continues to produce critically acclaimed Single Vineyard and Reserve wines, in additional to their remarkable varietal wines.
So, what’s in the bottle and is it any good? Let’s start with the white wine blend. With blends becoming more popular and their focus on the younger consumer, Justin had a good time crafting this playful wine, or in his words…”patio pounder.” Indeed it is, visualizing my back patio right now, I could easily drink this bottle all by myself. Goes down way too easy. Crisp and bright from the first sip, flavors of apricot and peach with balanced minerality on the finish. The varietal composition includes 27% Chardonnay, 21% Grenache Blanc, 18% Gewurtztraminer, 17% Pinot Noir, 11% Viognier and 6% Sauvignon Blanc. A perfect everyday drinking wine, retailing for $18-$20.
I was pleasantly surprised with the red blend. With it retailing between $19-$22 a bottle I wasn’t expecting it to have so much punch! Let this one breathe, especially if it’s the 2017, it will be worth it. A lot of goodness on the nose; blackberry and cherry flirting with a bit of raspberry. Baking spice and herbal notes make an appearance with a hint of vanilla. Fruit forward on the palate, chewy tannins with a finish similar to a French kiss, supple and lingering…just like it should be. The varietal composition includes 31% Merlot, 31% Zinfandel, 30% Malbec, 5% Riesling and 3% Petit Verdot. Another perfect wine to mix into your daily’s.
These wines align perfectly with the folks at Rodney Strong that continue to have a passion for this industry and winemaking; down to earth, genuine and like to have fun. The white blend is making its debut this month and the red blend is also available for purchase through their website. Both wines will be distributed nationwide. These wines will be a great add to your everyday drinking collection. Personally, the white blend will be on repeat this summer for me. Cheers!