Toad Hollow Vineyard was founded by the brother of comedian Robin Williams, Todd (Toad) Williams, and former International Star Dancer, Rodney Strong, also know as the "King of Sonoma County" wine makers. Their first vintage of Chardonnay was produced in 1993 with 90% Mendicino County grapes and 10% from Sonoma County, and with no oak.
They adopted the slogan, "No trees were harmed in the making of this wine". It continues to be so today. They still use the 90-10 mixture of grapes at Toad Hollow, and the wine is fermented and aged in stainless steel.
The 2008 Toad Hollow Chardonnay has undergone malolactic fermentation, and was aged for eight months before its release. The wine comes in at 13.7% alcohol, and has a creamy texture on the palate due to the malolactic fermentation. Both "Dr. Toad" and the "Sonoma Wine King" have passed on to the great vineyard in the sky, but the winery continues to produce wines in the same fashion and of the same quality.
The 2008 Francine's Selection is bright and clean on the palate. The nose is of pineapple and tropical fruit, which flows on into a taste of apple and pineapple, and finishes clean and crisp with no cloying aftertaste. Another great summertime selection for a light, un-oaked Chardonnay to be paired with light fare, such as broiled flounder or a crisp southwestern chicken salad. Norm's score is an 86.
Price - $11 - $14
Score - 86