This is a white wine you can turn to over and over again. It’s a widely available, versatile, and affordable California standout that over-delivers year after year. I’ve been singing the praises of Rodney Strong’s “Charlotte’s Home” Sauvignon Blanc for years, and the newly released 2019 edition lives up to that reputation.
Rodney Strong is a large, family-owned winery with 14 estate vineyards throughout Sonoma County. Charlotte’s Home is a 71-acre vineyard in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley dedicated exclusively to growing Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is made in typical Sonoma style, with generous fruit and a roundness that comes in part from a touch of oak. While 82 percent of the 2019 was fermented in stainless steel, the other 18 percent was barrel-fermented and underwent malolactic fermentation, giving it a richness that frames the wine beautifully. This results in a delightful combination of tastes, including juicy white peach, pear, lemon and lime, and touches of pink grapefruit, herbs, and vanilla.
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This is not the steely, mineral-driven Sauvignon of France’s Loire Valley, nor the high-acid, racy Sauvignon of New Zealand with its cut-grass aromatics. It’s quintessential California and is made for those who like Sauvignon Blanc that’s fruity and ample. The alcohol level is a moderate 13.5 percent, which makes the wine perfect as an aperitif and for a variety of food pairings, including most fish and shellfish, vegetable-based pastas and risottos, and a variety of cheeses.
With a suggested price of $17 (and likely available for less in some stores), Rodney Strong’s 2019 “Charlotte’s Home” Sauvignon Blanc is one of the top-value American Sauvignons on the market.