Costing under $25 with 14.4% alcohol, the 2007 Rodney Strong Estate Vineyards Russian River Pinot Noir scored 15+ Dionysian points out of 20.

At 13 years old, it held together nicely, matured adding some cedar shavings and a subtle hint of leather to the black cherry aroma. It will hold another five years, but the excessive alcohol doesn’t help it.

Rodney Strong wines are always a Best Buy with good quality for an honest price. It was served with a salmon dish and used with a Brie after dinner.

Mr. Strong passed some years ago, but I had the pleasure on doing a wine interview with him in Atlantic City live on the radio about 20 years ago. He talked more about dance and the arts than about his wines. I was impressed. RS wines are among the few from California I still buy and recommend. In Vino Veritas.