Rodney Strong Sonoma County 2008 Merlot, $7.64-$19.99, 84 points, began with a consistent ruby color and a transparent rim. A bombastic, unpleasant aroma of floral-cedar, clove, and vegetation smacked me in the face. Though the mouth-feel was smooth, round, and juicy, the flavor was way too floral for me, and the medium-plus body carried a syrupy flavor into the finish; neither Ethan nor I even finished our glass.
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