Greg La Follette is back on California Wine Country with Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger. He is now the winemaker at Marchelle Wines. Greg has been on CWC several times before, the most recent is this episode from May 25, 2022 when he came in with his label at the time, GLF Wines. Greg’s special guest is Shari Gherman, co-founder & President of the American Fine Wine Competition.
Participation in their competition is by invitation, and they invited several of Greg’s wines. They have a vetting committee that only admits the best wines. His wines were “off the charts” and won lots of gold medals, scored over 90 points and collected some best of class awards.
This particular Chard is a 2021 and won a double gold and 95 points. Tritone means it comes from three counties (not the musical term) including Santa Barbara, Mendocino and Sonoma counties. Dan likes it because it has great flavor and also great acidity, to accompany food. That’s different than the Colmbard, which is more for drinking.
The Vine Whisperer
Greg La Follette is the “vine whisperer” and the “cellar magician” as Steve says. He has worked 68 vintages on 5 continents, is a former seminarian and biochemist. Because of the research technique called HPLC that he was trained in, he found a job looking at antibiotics but when the Aids effort began his skills were needed there, for the next four years. He also worked with André Tchelistcheff, who resurrected California wine after Prohibition. Georges de la Tour had started Beaulieu and went to the Pasteur Institute in Paris and asked the director who the best student was. It was André so Georges hired André to come to California where he trained decades of winemakers like Greg.
This next wine is a Pinot Noir called Fourth Act. Greg’s winemaker Evan named is for Greg, as this is the fourth winery that he has owned. This is their blend wine. Dan says it smells exactly like a great Pinot Noir, lots of fruit flavors. Shari points out that it also got a double gold and 95 points at her competition. It also got one at Dan Berger’s International Competition last month, it got best of class and best of show.