Friday, December 11, 2015

Jarman Tasting Room: The Holman Ranch Family Empire Expands

Last month, the family behind Holman Ranch opened up their doors and invited bloggers from all over to visit and learn about the family empire. From the ranch (event venue extraordinaire) to the Holman Ranch Vineyards Tasting Room to their newest acquisitions - the Jarman Tasting Room and Will's Fargo Restaurant - owners Hunter Lowder and Nick Elliott were the consummate hosts.

I joined up with the crew that included some blogging pals - Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian and Marlene of Nosh My Way - for wine tasting and dinner. Though I have participated in online events with these gals throughout the years, we've never met in person. So it was a treat to put a face with the name.

Earlier in the day, they had toured the ranch and tasted wines at the Holman Tasting Room. This was my first time at the Jarman Tasting Room (ever!) and Will's Fargo Restaurant (in probably two decades!).

Jarman Wines is a tribute to Jarman Lowder who died nearly 5 years ago after a battle with early onset Alzheimer's disease. She was only 60 years old. To honor her memory - and love of good wine - the Lowder family has created two varietals from their estate grapes. And they have partnered with the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation and committed a portion of inventory and a percentage of sales towards finding a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Having watched my own grandmother's life deteriorate from Alzheimer's, that makes this wine even more special!

The 2014 Jarman Chardonnay is an intriguing blend of feminine and masculine. Odd to think of wine in terms of gender, really, but the flowery notes that remind me of perfume are complemented by a subtle earthiness that is distinctly masculine. On the palate, it's lush and silky. Serve this wine lightly chilled. I could see this pairing remarkably well with roasted lobster or some home-cured gravlax and capers.

The 2013 Jarman Pinot Noir has a distinctly comforting feel. Think warm gingerbread cake with salted caramel sauce. Not so much that I would pair it with that - I'm more of a savory kinda gal and definitely see this with a slow-cooked lamb tagine or a grilled porterhouse steak - but each sip feels warm and luxurious. Its a voluptuous wine with some spice and some oakiness.

I can't wait to get back over to Jarman. And, speaking to Hunter and Nick, they have some fun events in the works. Keep an eye on the website: Jarman Wines. They have a Books and Brunch Series planned. And I suspect that their Sip and Chat Series will resume soon.

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