Sunday, January 22, 2012

2011 Pinot Noir Festival Toulouse Open House

On a day that originally called for showers, we half anticipated a reduced number of attendees to the annual Toulouse Vineyards Open House on the third day of the annual 2011 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. We were....wrong. It never did rain and although Toulouse has always enjoyed a huge turnout to their annual event, this year, the word must have really gotten around because THIS year, attendance was massive.

At the end of the day, the staff estimated over 700 visitors to the winery. I was running the palate development and pairing theory station and never even lifted my head up to look at the crowds until 4:30pm. My entire staff had arrived that morning at 9AM to set up and to prep for our maximum best guesstimate of 650. We weren't too far off. Not a staff member ever even stopped once until 4:30. At that point, we were on the downhill to the 5pm finish line for the event and so...we just kept on going until the last guests departed.

This year, we had a tasting profile box of elements for the 2010 Rosé, a box that straddled the 2008 Anderson Valley Pinot, 2008 Estate Pinot AND the blockbuster 2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. The third box was geared to the intriguing 2008 Lautrec. The pairing menu was as follows:

Fresh Goat Cheese on Belgian Endive garnished with Moroccan Preserved Lemon, Fennel Fronds
 2010 Toulouse Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir

Fra'Mani Soppressata on Grilled Baguette Crostini
2008 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Roasted Leg of Lamb dipped in Cortas Pomegranate Molasses
2008 Estate Pinot Noir and 2009 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Thanks again and again and again to Maxine and Vern Boltz of Toulouse Vineyards for affording me the wines, platform and pleasure to help the public pair food and wine for themselves!

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