Friday, November 9, 2012
What started as a quest to find a standout Napa Cab ended up with a rocking single vineyard Cabernet from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley.
The Green Dragon had been out of town for several days. She is volunteering with the Red Cross in New Jersey. Knowing I might be hungering for a decent meal, Glorious T and the Cabinator suggested we swing by our favorite tapas restaurant, Poco Piatti in Levis Commons.
When we arrived at the restaurant, the Cabinator was still in the back seat fiddling with the lights, his iPhone and the Napa Cabernet issue of Wine Spectator. Monday is when Poco Piatti has their half off wine by the bottle special and the Cabinator wanted to dial in just the right deal.
Glorious T was hungry, but our studying of the wine list continued to drag on. Cabinator and I kept going back and forth between options (they had a nice Beringer Knight’s Valley Cab as well as a Mondavi from Oakville). We finally settled on the Rodney Strong Rockaway Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma’s Alexander Valley.
The wine list doesn’t show the vintage (a real drawback), so there were smiles all around as our server brought out a 2007. We savored our first glass as we dug into Thai shrimp, hummus and sautéed mushrooms. The best dish was a trio of shish-kabobs featuring swordfish, chicken and beef.
Rodney Strong created the first single vineyard Cabernets from Sonoma back in 1974. Rockaway continues that tradition by using grapes from its namesake vineyard, which has hilly terrain and gravelly, clay soil.
At first sip the tannins were firm and dry. As the wine opened up, concentrated red and black fruit boldly came through. Some dry toast and vanilla are sprinkled in the mix, too. The Rockaway is round and elegant without losing its structured feel. A long finish glides in for a satisfying end.
This is an outstanding wine, which retails for about $75. Thanks to the half-price promotion we got a tasty bargain indeed.