That Toad Hollow Vineyards has a comic connection to Hollywood appears widely known but I wonder if anyone has connected enough dots to realize that talent, creativity and a little bit of wacky must run deep in the Williams’ family line. With labels as whimsical as his wines not only is Robin Williams’ brother Todd crafting some pretty good (and elegant) pinot noir, he is certainly bucking the local labeling trend of aloof austerity. Didn’t anybody tell him that Grimm’s Fairy Tales is a kid’s book?
2002 Toad Hollow Vineyards Pinot Noir was a translucent and light maroon-red in the glass. Light red fruits such as strawberry and raspberry filled the nose with orange rind and spice deep in the wine’s background. Many lightly-extracted pinots I’ve had show this orange/citrus quality which is very appealing. Sweet oak was at threshold, seeming lightly-toasted and of very high quality. Lean and understated in the palate, this is what I’d call a feminine expression of pinot noir and one that clearly illustrates how winemaking decisions can affect the character of the wine that is ultimately in the glass. While this Westside Road pinot doesn’t offer great depth of palate, being more engaging aromatically, it does offer good silk and balanced acidity.
So what if “The Toad” didn’t provide the fruit tannin needed for additional cellaring! And yes, this may indeed be a “drink it now” kind of pinot: but what’s wrong with that? Goldie’s Vines offer more perfume than power, are more Volnay than Pommard, and showcase delicacy and grace in a very drinkable, pretty wine. Recommended!