Maker: Toad Hollow Cellars, Paso Robles, California
Varietal: Red Blend
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 9 out of 10
I've admired the Toad Hollow label for a while, and was finally induced to pick up a bottle of Toad Hollow Erik's the Red when it went on sale for under $10 at the local shop. Wow! This is one big, tasty red wine. We found clover, raspberry, vanilla, and smoke in the nose. On the palate, Erik's the Red is well structured, with black cherry, plum, and chocolate; the finish is long and spicy. This was a big wine when we first poured it, and additional breathing made it even bolder. As we often note, big, bold reds are our downfall... and Toad Hollow Erik's the Red definitely qualifies. It's a blend of an astounding eighteen varietals. I'm not sure how you keep track of that many grapes in a blend, but apparently Toad Hollow does. Their description states, "The majority of the blend (55%) is Petit Syrah and Syrah, with a modicum of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Grenache, Mourvedre, Refosco, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Primitivo, Cabernet Franc, and Rubired only to be polished at the end with Counoise, Dolcetto, Barbera, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Sangiovese."
Wine bloggers mostly love Erik's the Red. Commenting on the diverse makeup of this wine, Benito's Wine Blog comments on an earier edition of this non-varietal red: "A fun wine to drink (and it would be hilarious to take one to a blind tasting), but I don't know what food I'd match it with." Deb of Key West declares that it "would be great for any celebration." The Suburban Mom calls it "BIG" and "a favorite." Bogus Gold says, "Complex, and full of almost too many red-wine flavors to keep track of all at once." Boogieman thinks, "Toad Hollow does a very impressive job." Mundivagant says it's "wonderfully robust." Mercy on My Day calls the wine, "Complex tasting, but really nice." Metabatty says, "incredible blend. Get it now and open it equally as fast." Our favorite comment comes from The Naked Vine, who summarizes, "A good, solid, kick-back-and drink wine." We couldn't agree more.