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
HOW MUCH: $19 (Media Sample)