La Follette Wines: A Seminar

Greg La Follette of La Follette Wines

Porterhouse was the elegant venue for a tutored tasting of La Follette wine lead by winemaker Greg La Follette (formerly of Flowers, de Loach) who recently launched a new winery last year called La Follette.

The morning began with an introduction by vivacious Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein — and then a tasting of both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from his collection of site-specific bottlings from Sonoma and Mendocino counties ($30-$60 SRP).

Of the three Chardonnays were I preferred the  2008 La Follette Lorenzo Vineyard, which was very Meursault like and Greg said was due to the specific vineyard. The other two were very nice – the Manchester Ridge 2008 and the 09 Sangiacomo Vineyard.

Of the Pinot Noirs, my favorite was the 2008 La Follette Manchester Ridge Vineyard which was very floral and elegant. My vote for the wines NYC’s geeks would love best was the 2008 La Follette Van der Kamp Vineyard, which comes from a volcanic site very high on a mountain. A very strong signature aroma and palate here.

During the presentation, Greg was a fountain of knowlege,  discussing the various measures he uses to make his wine as pristine as possible and true to the land.


During lunch, we were served four whites and four reds from Quivira Vineyards and Winery and older vintages from Tandem Wines and Torbreck Vintners (all distributed by Martin Scott).  We were encouraged to mix and match them with the starter of scallops two ways (pan roasted diver scallop with celery root puree, brown butter, capers, crisp parsley) and grilled driver scallop) and duck two ways (Magret Duck Steak with swiss chard, bacon, ginger, rhubarb confit, and confit of duck leg with heirloom bean and root vegetable casoulet, green peppercorn reduction).

My favorite wines with both scallop dishes were the 2007 Tandem Sangriacomo Vineyard Chardonnay and the 2009 Torbreck Roussanne/Marsanne/Viognier. The 2009 Quivira Fig Tree Sauvignon Blanc was exotic and delcious, however.


For the duck I liked ALL the reds — with my favorite match being the 2006 Torbreck RunRig Shiraz. and runners up the 2001 Torbreck RunRig Shiraz (3% Viognier) and the 2001 and 2006 Torbreck The Struie Shiraz.  

What was fun during the lunch was having Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, writers of Becoming a Chef and many books on food and wine pairing, at the table with me. It was fun to compare tasting notes together.

Thanks to Master Sommelier Roger Dagorn of Porterhouse and Porterhouse owner/chef Michael Lomonaco for arranging such a great food and wine pairing with lunch.

Fabulous wines and a very educational talk.

  • Sam Folsom

    Great take on Greg and his wines!

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