Toad Hollow Rod’s Pride Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2006

In a matter of hours our family size went from nine (2 adults, 7 animals) to fifteen when Rod's Pridesix incubated eggs hatched last week. Everyday I’m amazed at how much they grow from just the night before. We’re enjoying watching them discover the ability to jump, stretch their wings and peck for food in their temporary brooder in the basement. As soon as they reach the point where they can jump out of the cardboard box they’ll be moved into the nursery, the original coop. Our older chickens have already moved into their bigger digs and enjoy looking out the “penthouse” windows.

To celebrate our expanded family I opened a bottle I received as a sample, Rod’s Pride Pinot Noir from Toad Hollow Vineyards. I’ve mentioned how picky I am about Pinot Noir but this Pinot was exquisite.

Aromas of juicy red fruit, vanilla and spice. Rustic flavors reminiscent of Burgundy with ripe strawberry, plum, black pepper and a touch of vegetal that I just can’t place. Unfortunately Rod’s Pride is no longer available but I’m sure their Toad’s Pride priced at $35.99 is just as tasty.

Varietal: 100% Pinot Noir
Alcohol: 14.4%
TA: 0.62 g/100ml
pH: 3.68
RS: .14%
Clones: Pommard, Dijon 667 & 777

I’ve covered quite a bit of Toad Hollow wines so if you’d like more info, click here.

The vines are located in the Russian River Valley with six different root clones on four root stocks on south facing slopes. The 2006 growing season began with a wet and cool spring heating up in July. Late summer and fall saw mild temps providing beneficial hang time and higher sugar levels at harvest.

Granted AVA status in 1983 the Russian River Valley is located in the heart of Sonoma County situated between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa in the south, and Forestville and Healdsburg in the north. Cooled by fog rolling off the Pacific Ocean, many varietals thrive in the region, especially Pinot Noir.

The region takes its name from the original settlers, Russian immigrants. These settlers planted the first grape vines most likely around Fort Ross. Around 1840 European settlers began planting vines for personal and commercial use before Prohibition forced the closing of the majority of the 200 or so wineries. Few stayed afloat during this time and those who did made bootleg wines, wines for religious use or a fermented grape juice.

Up until the 1970’s many wineries in the area operated by selling jug wines during this time the region became focused on cultivating and crafting quality wines. Once the focus turned to cool loving grapes the area began to flourish and is now considered one of the finest in California.

CAM00722As I opened the basement door to checked on our latest members this morning I was met with a waft of stinky chicken poo. While I enjoy the smell of the country, musty dirt coming from the woods, wild jasmine vines crawling up the tree trunks, fresh cut hay mixed with a little cow smell, chicken smell in the basement is not pleasant. Here’s to hoping the grow feathers fast and can get into their outdoor nursery.


About Kellie Stargaard

Wine blogger
This entry was posted in Wine under $40, Wines for when you want to splurge and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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