Tom Klein graduated from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1979, and established a career as a management consultant. In 1985, Klein received an assignment to evaluate the business of Rodney Strong Vineyards. He liked what he saw, and in 1989 he and his family purchased the winery.
Under the guidance of the Klein family, the winery has prospered and grown to become one of the more respected operations in Sonoma County. Rodney Strong remains the flagship brand of the business, and Sonoma Vineyards is the more casual, relaxed, and affordable “little brother.”
Sonoma Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2007
The winemaker at Sonoma Vineyards decided to dabble in sauvignon blanc for the 2007 harvest. The result? A quite tart style of sauvignon blanc, full of really ripe grapefruit flavors (grapefruit being very often characteristic of this grape), along with some tropical fruit that hints of of guava and passionfruit, but with none of the grassy or herbaceous flavors that I think sometimes mar the similar wines from New Zealand. No oak whatsoever was used.
Match this up with spring green salad with chèvre; fresh snapper ceviche (only for the adventurous) with tequila, lime, and roasted sweet peppers; grilled marinated prawns with fresh melon salsa; risotto of lobster and sea vegetables with peas and asparagus; or spicy shrimp ravioli in a citrus achiote vinaigrette.
Sonoma Vineyards Merlot 2003
The label on the back of this bottle states, “…loaded with in-your-face fruit that will have you dreaming of wild berries staining your fingers and juicy plums dribbling down your chin.” Well, not for me. I found this wine to be very much in the European style (not that there’s anything wrong with that.) There is some fruit, but this is counterbalanced by a slightly bitter, slightly smoky finish. The tannins are moderate and unassuming.
Pair this merlot with rosemary portobello burgers, pot roast, or porterhouse steaks with arugula and Parmesan cheese.
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