- RODNEY STRONG 2009 CHARDONNAY CHALK HILL VINEYARD:
This reliable winery produces delicious Chardonnays from several sub-appellations within Sonoma County. In 1965, founder Rod Strong was the first to plant Chardonnay in what would become the Chalk Hill American Viticultural Area (AVA or appellation in France). He recognized that its unique chalky soils set it apart from the Russian River Valley AVA. The winery’s tagline appropriately notes: “Place Matters.” This charming wine drinks deliciously on its own. It offers classic aromas and flavors of tangy green apple and spicy pear in a rich, full-bodied style that still expresses vibrant citrus and minerality (due to those chalky soils). Well balanced with subtle notes of spice and vanilla from barrel fermentation in French oak, it’s sure to please both camps of Chardonnay drinkers. Available online and on sale for $16, it’s a great value at rodneystrong.com and at BevMo! in SLO.