2013 Toad Hall
Why Toad Hall?
Why name a wine Toad Hall? Well, remember The Wind in the Willows, the children’s novel by Kenneth Grahame? And remember Toad Hall, the home of Mr. Toad? When John Komes started out in the wine business he’d get home late after work and his wife, Carrie, a children’s librarian, would say “How was your day Mr. Toad?” Fitting for John, who, like Mr. Toad, is friendly and garrulous. Eventually, “Toad Hall” was adopted as the name for the Komes’ personal wine projects. That time has passed, but we couldn’t resist resurrecting the Toad Hall name just one more time.
What it tastes like to us…
Talk about a rockin’ red blend! This wine’s got Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, all from Napa Valley of course. Here’s what the Toad offers up: aromas of ripe black cherries and raspberry and a few whiffs of white pepper and dusty sage. Flavors of blackberries, boysenberries and plum – all that luscious red-black fruit. Oak aging brings in toasted coconut, vanilla and clove. No doubt this is a fruit-driven wine, but there’s a hint of tea and graphite, even a little savory herb.
What Mother Nature delivered…
You know us wine types, always comparing one vintage to another. So yeah, while 2012 was pretty darn good, 2013 may have been even better. Warm, dry spring…early bud break...ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. Nice moderate summer. There was that one heat spike, but it didn’t amount to much. Harvest was early, about two weeks earlier than other Napa Valley harvests of the last decade (told you we can’t resist comparisons). Bottom line: high fives all around for the ’13 vintage!
What we did then…
Pretty standard stuff – hand harvested and sorted the grapes and fermented in stainless steel. Next up: French oak barrels, where the wine aged for 20 months in French and American oak. We racked the wine several times to soften the tannins by exposing it to oxygen. We worked our blending magic (see blend info below), slapped a label on it, and that’s the Toad.
If you don’t want to read all of the above:
Appellation: Napa Valley
Varietals: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon; 20% Merlot, 17% Syrah, 8% Petit Verdot; 3% Cabernet Franc
Production: Several barrels made
Aging: 20 months