Tasting With "The Todd" Anderson

Along with a dozen of my fellow Berserkers and a couple straglers, we descended upon Anderson’s Conn Valley this past Friday. Met The Todd out by his jacked up Hummer, and he immediately knew who I was…don’t know if that is a good thing or a bad thing at this point. After funning around, we went up to the caves to taste some wines…all from barrel.

2007 Estate Reserve Cab–Very good, yet still primary. Don’t remember the oak treatment, but it was not at all obtrusive.

2007 Eloge–Well made wine, but not really in my wheelhouse.

2007 Right Bank–2/3 merlot and 1/3 cab franc. Reminds me of a Pavie blend without being overripe like some people see Pavie. I would probably pic some of these up to see how they progress.

2008 (?) Syrah–Way green and had a hard, metallic taste. Was not a fan at all.

2005 Petit Sirah–Exceptional wine, best of the ACV wines we had in the cave. Dark and brooding despite its age in barrel. Long, long life ahead of this bad boy.

After a good & lengthy discussion about winemaking, growing and all things grape related, we finally made it behind the cage to see the Ghost Horse.

2006 Ghost Horse Spectre–As good a wine as I had all trip at any level. Very good fruit concentration and integration of oak and tannin. At $3500 a bottle, I am not a buyer. At $3500 a bottle is it worth it…I don’t know. Can it keep up with other ultra high dollar and rare bottles…without a doubt.

During a nice lunch spread of carne asada and pollo al carbon, we also had a decent 2007 ACV chard as well as another bottle of 2005 regular cuvee of Ghost Horse. But that wasn’t the high point of lunch. One of The Todd’s hired hands just passed his US Citizenship exam…so we all did shots of Tequila…epic. Then came cigars.

For all the shit we piled on The Todd last year, I must appologize as his hospitality and generosity is unmatched. Sure, he has an ego bigger than mine and he is larger than life. But, he does deliver on his promises of a unique and fun filled experience. Some of the crew even went back up there for dinner, more Ghost Horse and who knows what else.

Magnanimous squared. [welldone.gif]

Having sat and chatted with The Todd at Berserkerfest towards the end of the evening (drinking some sort of Bourbon I think) I must say that I’ve met very few people who are that passionate about what they are doing. I just hope he made it home safely that night. The last thing I remember hearing was “let’s see how fast this Corvette will go”.

I didn’t go to the tasting, but I did go to his house for the BBQ afterwards, and I have to agree with Bill on the Ghost Horse. They can easily stand up to any cabs out there. Without a doubt.

Good thing he lives less than a mile away. I’m sure the cops around there know The Todd quite well. Even WITH his clearly camouflaged cars.

I would echo (and have) what Bill said - The Todd is a pompous ass, as are many of us here, and I’ll continue to make fun of him, still hoping that he shows up, as he can take it like a man, and loves making fun of ‘bloggers’ (that’s us, folks). His winery makes great wine, and he’s generous to a fault.

The Todd, from the other The Todd - get your Yooper ass IN HERE!

In that case he probably made it home in about 12 seconds.

Don’t forget the sixer of Budweiser that he pounded…

Thanks for the notes Bill. I’ve only had one Todd wine and that was an Eloge that I found to be ordinary even for a Cali. I’ll give the Right Banks a shot, as Pavie sans the over-the-top sounds perfect.

The Right Bank was quite good, I agree. That, and the Petit Sirah were my two standouts among the Anderson’s Conn Valley bottlings.

I’m trying to get The Todd and Dave (his director of distribution) to put out a Berserker exclusive…

… no comment.

I have known The Todd for a dozen years or so and although a self directed and larger than life egotist, he is a wonderful wine loving and passionate guy that you just have to like. I am working on a new distributor for him in AZ as I type.
I would also like to state that the name Todd must be assigned only to larger than life GODS. We also have one here. flirtysmile pileon

Have to concur with Bill here. The Todd was beyond generous with everyone. The same day he kept us 4 hours at his cave giving barrel samples, popping bottles and having his crew grill up some awesome fajitas with killer guacamole and salsa he invites us over to his pad for some night BBQ and drinking well in to the night. At his pad he popped a 6 pack or more of Ghost Horse on top of all of the other great wines we had. And his national sales dude, Van, made the best chicken any of us have ever had bar none.
[worship.gif] [worship.gif] [worship.gif]

I enjoyed all of the barrel samples on some level. By and large they showed great balance without the midpalate sweet fleshiness found in a lot of wines of the region and were balanced by strong acidic notes on the finish. The Petit Sirah was an eye opener. Unlike any I have had from the state and would be great to stick in a classic Northern Rhone lineup blind. Nothing fat or huge here with all the edges left intact. The straight Cabs were my favorite of the Bordeaux blends.

The Ghost Horse wines are the real deal. The Todd has caught a lot of flack for the brand, which he’s read all of BTW and knows everyone who went after him on that but the wines are very strong in the big cult Cali Cab genre. Worth the price? Well anything over $100 brings on that debate for me.

Big thanks to The Todd indeed. It really was a lovely and generous tasting.

I really enjoyed the Estate Cab (first barrel sample we had, I think). And the lunch was quite delicious as well…especially those super-hot peppers, which I am pleased to report, do not burn both ends…

Awww. I was out there in May and tried to schedule a tasting, but no one ever got back to me. Maybe If I mentioned I was a Berserker that would have done the trick. [tease.gif]

I do rememeber he took a lot of sh*t on eBob, but he gave it back pretty well also. I guess no one really caught on that the price of GH was not based on just the wine, it was a life style and exclusivity “image” he was marketing. Back during that time (when the economy was roaring), that type of conspicuous consumption was all the rage and many people with lots of $$, equated quality and exclusivity with price. A smart marketing thing to appeal to the wannabe wine expert with deep pockets looking to impress. Wine geeks like us would appreciate the quality of said wine, but most of us would shun the non-existent QPR.

Having had the 2000 Ghost Horse Cab Sauv and Pinot Noir, they are well made wines, not worth the $, but that’s my opinion. I have like some of the Conn Valley stuff in the past, but nothing of recent.

Sounds like a good tasting.

They actually changed hospitality managers and you probably had bad contact info.

The new guy is Dave Bryant, and he is very easy to deal with via e-mail and was great in person.


Is the Petite Sirah available at the winery? What the tariff? The only place that has it on Wine Searcher is Randy & Carrie’s place for $125. For Petite?

It’s their Black Label Petite and we’re the same price as the winery. If I remember correctly Todd said no one else had or was offered it . Sooooo, you’re stuck. Us or them flirtysmile

The Petite is $125 at the winery. Had no idea that is was available at Carrie’s joint.

That’s “petite” according to The Todd’s benchmarks. I’m Joking! [tease.gif]