Strong is the the definitely word for a guy like the late Rodney Strong. Don’t know many who could go from dancing for George Balanchine and Martha Graham in New York to pioneering Sonoma‘s most famous vineyards. That was in 1959: 50 years before the 2009 vintage and these ripe reds, sleek and silky pinot, complex cabernet (with merlot and cab franc), and a rich mouthful of merlot. Strong’s successors, Tom Klein and Rick Sayre, still believe in those appellations and insist on regional character in each wine, from the most affordable to the priciest single-vineyard bottles. Pinot noir comes from the cool of the Russian River while the cab and merlot are from Sonoma County and show that lush palate feel. Rodney Strong wasn’t the first bonded winery in Sonoma, but he was the 13th! Can you imagine? Only 13 wineries in Sonoma! Glad this one stayed.