Full Review

Rowen

Rowen
2018 Red Blend, Sonoma County

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.5%
88 Points
Silver Medal
Highly Recommended
$60

Rowen
2018 Red Blend, Sonoma County

Pair this wine with:
Beef Vegetables

Category: Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend

Date Tasted:
Country: USA
Alcohol: 14.5%
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of cocoa nibs and blackberry, sweet tobacco, frango mint chocolates, and blueberry pancakes with a round, bone-dry medium-to-full body and a warming, subtle, medium-long finish with accents of mocha and blackberry, black cherry and fudge, and ripe tomato in aged balsamic with chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A broad shouldered and structured Bordeaux blend with enough ripe fruit to consume now but with structure that would benefit from decanting or cellar aging.

Tasting Info

Wine Glass Style: Fruity & Oaky
Aroma Aroma: cocoa nibs and blackberry, sweet tobacco, frango mint chocolates, and blueberry pancakes
Taste Flavor: Same as aromas with accents of mocha and blackberry, black cherry and fudge, and ripe tomato in aged balsamic
Sweetness Sweetness: Bone-Dry
Enjoy Enjoy: Now-6 years with food
Recipes Pairing: Pot Roast, Steak & Potatoes, Beef Stew
Bottom Line Bottom Line: A broad shouldered and structured Bordeaux blend with enough ripe fruit to consume now but with structure that would benefit from decanting or cellar aging.

The Producer

Rodney Strong Vineyards

The Producer
11455 Old Readwood Highway
Healdsburg, CA 95448
USA
1 707-433-6521

Their Portfolio

87 Knotty Vines 2019 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $15.00.
86 Knotty Vines 2019 Pinot Noir, California 14.5% (USA) $15.00.
85 Knotty Vines 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, California 14.5% (USA) $15.00.
89 Knotty Vines 2019 Red Blend, California 14.5% (USA) $15.00.
93 Rodney Strong 2021 Rosé, Russian River Valley 12% (USA) $25.00.
86 Rodney Strong 2020 Chardonnay, California 13.5% (USA) $18.00.
91 Rodney Strong 2013 Gentleman’s Port, Sonoma County 18.5% (USA) $22.00.
88 Rodney Strong 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $23.00.
87 Rodney Strong 2021 Charlotte’s Home, Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County 13.5% (USA) $18.00.
93 Rodney Strong 2019 Chardonnay, Chalk Hill, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $22.00.
91 Rodney Strong 2018 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley 14.5% (USA) $25.00.
94 Rodney Strong 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley 14.5% (USA) $30.00.
94 Rodney Strong 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon, Knights Valley 14.5% (USA) $37.00.
88 Rodney Strong 2016 Symmetry, Red Meritage, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $60.00.
89 Rodney Strong 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $.00.
87 Rodney Strong 2019 Chardonnay, Petaluma Gap 14.5% (USA) $.00.
93 Rodney Strong 2022 Rosé, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 13% (USA) $25.00.
91 Rodney Strong Vineyards 2021 Red Blend, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $23.00.
88 Rowen 2018 Red Blend, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $60.00.
89 Upshot By Rodney Strong 2019 Red Blend, Sonoma County 14.5% (USA) $19.00.
89 Upshot By Rodney Strong 2019 White Blend, California 13% (USA) $19.00.

Bordeaux Red Varietal Blend

Wine Glass Cabernet.jpg
Serve in a Cabernet Wine Glass
The greatness of red wines from France's Bordeaux region can be largely attributed to the art of blending. There are five red varieties that can be used in a Bordeaux red: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec (this last is rarely seen anymore in Bordeaux).

The reason for blending several grapes to craft the final wine is for greater complexity as well as elegance. Each grape has various characteristics and can attribute special qualities to the final wine. Cabernet Sauvignon is powerful and tannins, while Merlot has lighter tannins, while Cabernet Franc has a spicy, peppery quality to it. Blending these grapes together will round out all of these qualities; sort of a "the whole is greater than the sum of the parts" rationale.

This principal of blending is used in many regions besides Bordeaux, especially in California, were the blends are often given proprietary names, like Opus One, Insignia, and Quintessa. US blends of Bordeaux varietals may also be labeled, in addition to their proprietary name, by the designation of Meritage if they are approved and licensed by the Meritage Alliance.

Blending in Bordeaux is common not only on the prestigious wines from historic estates that cost hundreds of dollars per bottle, but also on the lighter-styled wines that are priced in the mid-teens. Aging potential can often be directly linked to the price of the wine, from three to five years to three to five decades.

Pair these wines with most red meats, games or roasts.