On Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19, and then again on Friday, November 24, the winery held an open house and party.
There were six wines featured. The white wines included a 2014 Chardonnay Le Pavillon, a 2015 Riesling Le Pavillon, and a Late Harvest 2015 Riesling. The reds were a 2014 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, a 2014 Pinot Noir Le Pavillon, and a 2015 Tempranillo Eola-Amity Hills.
The first weekend also included a surprise vertical tasting of three Holloran La Chenaie Pinot Noir wines from 2012, 2009, and 2007. The differences were stunning, ranging from a smooth, easy drinking glass to a hearty, more full-bodied pour; these three showed how different vintages produced markedly different flavor profiles from the same vineyard.
Food pairings were, of course, exciting and thought provoking. Smoked meats on Saturday and Sunday featured bratwurst (Riesling), pork roast (Pinot Noir Le Pavillon), and tri-tip roast (Tempranillo), showing that there are Holloran wines for every meal.
The day after Thanksgiving event was a cheese only affair, with the added bonus of some terrific live guitar picking from Mark Hanson. If you haven’t heard him play, check out his website for events (markhansonguitar.com) or at a future wine party.
An extra special surprise was a dessert Riesling that winemaker Mark LaGasse created (with Bill’s blessing). As Mark explained, creating a wine like this requires just the right conditions to cause the hand-selected grapes to shrivel by botrytis (aka, the “Noble Rot”). The result was a complex aroma, a lush texture, and a multi-layered flavor. It was intensely sweet, smooth, and charged with fruit. This was something to sip after a fine meal, by itself or served with poached pears for dessert.
Twilight in the vineyards.
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