After a few hours to blow off some funk, this showed as earthy, with raspberry, some dried strawberries, allspice and cloves. Use of new oak is a little heavy, loading jarring vanilla onto the finish. A couple of years in the cellar might bring it together, but the risk is a dumb period followed by loss of fruit.

2008 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

After a few hours to blow off some funk, this showed as earthy, with raspberry, some dried strawberries, allspice and cloves. Use of new oak is a little heavy, loading jarring vanilla onto the finish. A couple of years in the cellar might bring it together, but the risk is a dumb period followed by loss of fruit. A second night showed some settling of the wood, hinting at promise of cellar improvement.

WHO: Rodney Strong Vineyards
WHAT: Pinot Noir
WHERE: Russian River Valley, California
WHEN: 2008
HOW MUCH: $19 (Media Sample)

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