For Those Craving Red Wine in the Summer …

For Those Craving Red Wine in the Summer …

... this high-end, Rodney Strong blend delivers!

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Rodney Strong is a brand that most people recognize on retail wine shelves. From the old days of that retired Broadway dancer who brought his performance flair to Sonoma winemaking, this brand now covers a large range of styles and price points. When it comes to the higher, but not highest, end of this estate, the rewards are indeed plentiful. Today’s wine, called Symmetry, is a dynamic blend crafted in the Bordeaux manner. Five grape varieties combine to deliver a knockout — the best example of this wine I can remember since 2007. Sometimes you crave a big red even as summer broils on — well, here it is!

2013 Rodney Strong Symmetry, Red Meritage, Alexander Valley $55 srp

Dark ruby color — almost opaque. Black cherries and currants greet you, surrounded by a smoky, cigar box element and a surprising floral character. There is a refined and overall graceful restraint to the bouquet that subtly impresses. Flavors are full yet fresh, with balanced chocolate-covered plum, black coffee and licorice-like mouth feel. Excellent balance and a dry, clean finish make this already delicious tonight; but a wonderful future awaits the patient. (76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, 4% Merlot) Drink now, (please uncork 3-4 hours ahead of time) through 2026.

93/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi
Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.