Ledger David Cellars – Vineyard and Winery in Southern Oregon

Alaskan Wild Caught Cod with Green Curry Coconut Sauce on Jasmine Rice

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culinary_alaskanhalibutWEBPaired with Ledger David Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc
By Wine Educator and Culinary Expert Robert Trottmann
Serves 4-5

INGREDIENTS

For the Fish
3-1/2 to 4 lbs Fresh Wild Caught Alaskan Cod (also called Pacific Cod) cut into equal portions
½ cup unbleached flour
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Peanut or Canola oil

For the Curry Paste and Finished Coconut Sauce
Dry Ingredients
1 full tablespoon white or green peppercorns
¼ tablespoon black peppercorns
½ tablespoon cardamom (pre-ground)
1 tablespoon coriander (pre-ground)
½ tablespoon cumin (pre-ground)
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg (pre-ground)
1 tablespoon sugar or palm sugar (to be added at the end of the finished green curry coconut sauce)
NOTE: You can grind all of these on your own in a granite mortar and pestle, except the nutmeg which will need to be grated first. All of this will result in better and more nuanced flavors but can buy them pre-ground. I recommend grinding your own. If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, you can use a food processor or blender but the flavors will not be as complex. Additionally, you could buy a pre-made green curry but it will be nothing like this in terms of richness and freshness of flavor and the ingredients could be quite different.

Wet Ingredients
3 medium sized garlic cloves- minced
1/8th cup minced fresh ginger
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 medium sized lime- Zest the whole skin down to the flesh just before you hit the juice of the lime.
4 medium sized jalapeños- seeded and finely chopped
1 large shallot finely chopped
1/3 cup finely chopped Thai basil (you may substitute Italian basil)
16oz. can organic unsweetened coconut milk (you’ll only be using the creamiest part so DON’T shake it up, you’ll just spoon off the heavy cream into a small sauce pan). Save the watery potion to add back into the sauce if it needs thinning.
Thai Fish Sauce to taste (I like Viet Huong, but there are many others-Just get the highest quality you can find from your market.)
Preparing the Green Curry Paste

DIRECTIONS
In 2000 I started learning to cook Thai food as a way to decompress from my hectic work life. Thai food has a rich and powerful range of flavors and an ancient history. Much of it is fast paced and requires complete focus and its very healthy. Making curries is particularly satisfying, especially in eliminating stress. I make mine in a traditional Thai granite mortar and pestle of medium size. The pounding and mashing of the ingredients to achieve a rich paste is physically engaging, the smells are wonderful and the end result are deep rich flavors that can’t be beat.
I work in batches and make about a pint of paste at a time and use as much as I need in my coconut sauce based on taste. There are nearly infinite opportunities for experimentation. This is just one interpretation that works out beautifully in pairing with Ledger David Cellars 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.
One word of caution, if you’re in a hurry, this part may just cause frustration. Slow down and focus on the task at hand and you’ll be well rewarded. The rest is easy.

DRY INGREDIENTS FIRST
Start with the dry ingredients. Grind the white and black peppercorns until fine and then add the coriander seed, cardamom, nutmeg, sea salt and cumin and set aside.

NEXT GRIND THE WET INGREDIENTS
After all the wet ingredients are finely chopped or nearly minced, start adding the garlic, ginger and shallots then the jalapeños lime zest and basil. Slowly and persistently keep grinding these wet items into a paste. A little extra coarse salt will help breakdown these ingredients. Continue until you have a nice green paste.

Add the dry ingredients back into the wet and grind until thoroughly entrained and you have a nice paste. Your paste is ready to add to the coconut milk to finish your sauce.

To finish the sauce, heat the coconut milk cream until it just starts to break/boil. Reduce the heat and add about three tablespoons the paste and cook slowly for 10 minutes of so. Additionally I add about a tablespoon of sugar to the sauce and a handful of finely chopped basil right at the end before plating. Keep warm and set aside to place on the fish when they are cooked.

THE FISH
Add salt and pepper to taste to about a ½ cup of flour. Pat the cod fillets lightly dry and dust them thoroughly with the flour. In a large cast iron skillet or cast iron wok set to medium high heat enough peanut or canola oil to nicely coat the bottom. Heat until the oil glistens and add the fish cook on first side until golden and crispy. Carefully flip once until the second side is done and remove to a wire racked tray and keep in the oven if needed at 300 degrees. Note: This gives you a little extra time to plate the rice and so on.

TO FINISH
Plate about a cup (or portion to your guests liking) of cooked jasmine rice, place the finished cod on the rice and sauce the fish with the green curry. Serve immediately. I like to add a slice of fresh cantaloupe or other melon, but fresh salads and so forth are also nice sides when it is hot out outside.

This green curry with cod was a huge hit with my guests. The pairing with the Ledger David 2014 Sauvignon Blanc is superb. Enjoy.

Roasted Chicken with Brown Buttered Herbs

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culinaryroastedchickenprimorisWEBPaired with Ledger David Cellars Primoris (Chenin Blanc)
By Culinary Expert and Wine Educator Robert Trottmann

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS
2-1/2 to 3 lbs. Whole Organic Free Range Chicken
Teaspoon each of the following finely chopped: (Your choice of variety of what you have in your garden of these herbs or purchase your choice at the market.
Thyme
Rosemary
Sage
1 large lemon quartered and lightly rubbed with sea salt
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper

Preparing the browned butter
Brown 1/8 of a pound of unsalted butter. Watch carefully. Start at a low medium heat and don’t turn your back. When the butter starts to break brown (it will pop little brown bubble pockets), remove from heat immediately. Add your herbs and return to the lowest heat and hold for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and with a big mixing bowl full of ice water, cool your infused butter until medium soft. Set aside.

Preparing the Chicken
Rinse and pat dry one 2-1/2 to 3 lb. chicken
Place the chicken into a large ceramic or cast iron roasting pan. You can do the rest of the work from here with no need to dirty up another surface.

From the neck end of the chicken, with your hands, carefully lift the skin away from the breast meat side of the bird creating a cavity within which you’ll evenly place the soft infused butter. It is really simple and really easy, go slow and distribute the infused butter evenly.

Once you have placed the butter under the skin, place the quartered lemon sections inside the chest cavity of the bird and truss the legs. To truss, simply take a foot long length of cotton twine and tie the ends of the legs together tightly. No need to get fancy. Just tie them up to hold them together.
Rub a bit of the infused herb butter onto the legs and wing parts and dust with salt and pepper.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and roast for about 10-15 minutes a pound. Cook until done. 170 degrees. Let the bird rest for 10-20 minutes, carve and serve.
Serve with a side of fresh field greens salad, Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue cheese crumbles dressing and the best summer time melon you can find.

Enjoy with Ledger David Cellars 2014 Primoris. You’ll be pleased.

Petit Verdot, Uncle Donald & Bobcat, Oh-my!

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By Owners Lena Varner and David Traul

Never a dull moment. Seriously. The typical “busy-ness” of a family with small children, careers and the unyielding entrepreneurial spirit. Still, some experiences at Varner-Traul vineyards have been a bit unique even for country living. The recent visit of Uncle Donald (David’s brother), allowed us to gain this insight at the end of May as we reflected back to recent events.

A brief recap, perhaps? Starting with the addition of our youngest and first little girl, Hudson Jo, during harvest of 2014. Yes, October 17th. Near the end of harvest, and for us, almost a tradition following in the footsteps of her oldest brother Ledger, who was born during our first harvest in October 2009. Her first ride on a tractor, bundled up next to mommy at just a week old. Her first visit to the winery only a few days later.

June2015BlogPostPic2

Uncle Donald, David and baby girl Hudson Jo tour the vineyard.

Next, Petit Verdot, a stubborn grape came in last during the harvest of 2014. With our first vintage (2013) varietal being released this month, we have grown to love David’s few rows of this wine grape in our vineyard. A truly opulent wine.

Harvest ended abruptly after the red varietals were in as a black bear and her cub cleaned up several tons of late harvest white fruit (mainly Chenin Blanc). Luckily we had picked some Malvasia Bianca for our newest dessert wine production. Still those grand paw prints, and holes under the fence (large one for mother, small for baby) were amazing to see. Even more impressive the bears’ ability to devour rows of fruit overnight, without disturbing the vines, as polite as they were.

This spring, we noticed a momma bobcat and her kittens. The mother seen several times in our “wilderness” landscaped area, David noticed the pointed ears of a baby bobcat about 50 feet from our front door, sitting under a tree at sunset just a few weeks ago—what a sight!

Then the impromptu visit from Uncle Donald at the end of May. He was last here when Ledger was only a few months old. Of course, we spontaneously “cleared” the schedule. Taking Uncle Donald on our evening vineyard walks, feeding the neighbor’s rescue horses, introducing him to grilled Rogue Creamery cheese sandwiches and Viognier under the tree at the tasting room. Then ending the day with toddler wrestling, mini pool waterfights, and summer grilling.

Uncle Donald’s visit a treat? Yes. One of those impactful moments? Definitely. For the newest addition, Hudson Jo, the Traul boys, Ledger and Slater, and the proud mom (vineyard manager and tasting room owner)? Invigorating. The quiet moments shared between David and Donald, most likely spent remembering the vineyard and wine dreams with their father? A gift.

Thank you Uncle Donald & to our Ledger David Family.

Mushroom Risotto with Ledger David 2012 Sangiovese

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By Robert Trottmann

Ingredients
9 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds fresh mushrooms (your choice- I used cremini)
7 cups (about) low-salt chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice (8 to 9 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
Ledger David Sangiovese

Preparation
Slice the mushrooms into thirds. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Working in 3 more batches, repeat with remaining 8 (divided equally) tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.

Bring the chicken broth to simmer in a saucepan and keep warm. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir until liquid is absorbed.

Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring continuously until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in sautéed mushrooms. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using.

Serve with additional Parmesan and chopped Italian parsley.

This is wonderful main dish or can be served as a side with grilled meats.
Enjoy!

Join Ledger David and the Peerless Restaurant for an Exclusive Winemaker Dinner June 27

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Join Ledger David and the Peerless Restaurant for an Exclusive Winemaker Dinner
Saturday, June 27 at 7pm

FIRST COURSE
Thai Red Curry King Crab Salad
Scallop Crudo, Sea Asparagus, Belgian Endive,
Avocado & Meyer Lemon Olive Oil
Paired with 2013 Primoris Chenin Blanc

SECOND COURSE
Foie-Honey Glazed Squab Breast & Confit Leg
Roasted Gold Beet, Pickled Mustard Seed, Cherry Gastrique & Chocolate Mint
Paired with 2012 Cabernet Franc

THIRD COURSE
Seared Kobe Strip Loin
Brown Butter Gnocchi, Foraged Mushrooms,
Vanilla-Poached Baby Carrot, Fava Beans & Syrah Bordelaise
Paired with 2011 Syrah

FOURTH COURSE
Peach Sorbet & Cinnamon Angel Food Cake
Toasted Rose Water Meringue, Marcona Almond, Yuzu Curd & White
Chocolate Ganache
Paired with 2014 Malvasia Bianca

$85 per person. Reservations required. Limited seating.

For more information or to make a reservation, call the Peerless Restaurant at (541) 488-6067.

Peerless Restaurant | 265 4th St. | Ashland, OR 97520

Summer Wine Club Pick Up

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Join Ledger David Cellars for our summer Primoris Wine Club pick up party June 19, 20 & 21 at Le Petit Tasting Room. Celebrate the new release of our 2013 Malbec. The premiere 2011 vintage of this exciting varietal took home a gold medal at the 2014 LA Int’l Wine Competition. Only 73 cases of this stellar 2013 vintage produced.

Other wine club selections include a pre-release of our popular Vouvray-style 2014 Primoris Chenin Blanc and our elegant 2012 Sangiovese. Enjoy these new wine releases with Latin-themed small bites paired with saucy sides.

Private Wine Club Hours: Fri & Sat | 5-8pm (RSVP Requested)
Regular Hours: Sun | Noon-5pm

BILLING INFO:
Please let us know if your billing information has changed. Call Heather Davis at (541) 664-2218 or email heather@ledgerdavid.com and she would be delighted to update your payment information before processing your wine club order. For your convenience, you can also now update your credit information online with our secure wine club form.

WINE CLUB DISCOUNTS:
We will be processing orders on Monday, June 15. As a reminder, 3-bottle members receive a 15% discount, 6-bottle members 20% and 12-bottle members 25% discount on all wine club selections.

OTHER PICK UP OPTIONS:
If you are unable to join us during this event weekend, your wine club selections will be available after Monday, June 22 at the tasting room in Central Point (next to the Rogue Creamery) any time during regular hours.

Black Pepper Applewood Smoked Bacon White Bean and Chard Pot Pie

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By Robert Trottmann

This super comfort food has some spice and richness that pairs deliciously with our Tempranillo.

Serves 4

Lid Crust

2 cups All-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

13 tablespoons cold unsalted butter coarsely grated (I use my cheese grater)

6 tablespoons sour cream or whole Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup ice water

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash prior to cooking)

Filling

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 strips thick cut black pepper crusted Applewood smoked bacon

1 large or 2 small onions, fine chop

1 large carrot, fine chop

1 large stalk celery, fine chop

Red pepper flakes to the amount of heat you like (I like it medium spicy so I use about a teaspoon)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

8-10 ounces of finely chopped Swiss chard (you can also use kale spinach or collards and I go heavy on the greens because I really like them))

3 1/2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) all- purpose flour

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups white beans, cooked and drained (you can use canned beans for convenience)

Make lids: In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender/knife or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles. Break up the bits of butter until the texture is like the size of rice grains. In another dish whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, and water, and then combine it with the butter-flour mixture. With a flexible spatula, stir the wet and the dry together until a rough dough forms. If needed, get your hands into the bowl to knead it a few times into one big ball. Form into a flattish ball, cover it and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make filling: Cook the bacon on low-medium heat until quite crisp. Remove it, let it cool and chop into bits. Leave the heat on and the renderings in the pan. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed and heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrot, celery, red pepper flakes, add salt, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the greens and cook until wilted. Season with the additional salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer all of the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the bacon, and set aside.

Make sauce: Lightly wipe the large saucepan and don’t worry about bits stuck to the bottom. Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour, and stir with a whisk until combined. Continue cooking stirring the whole time, until it begins to take on a little color. Whisk in the broth about a cup at a time mixing completely between additions. Once you’ve added a third of the broth things are well heated and you can add the rest more quickly you can begin to add the rest more quickly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom — they’re flavorful.

Once all of the broth is added, stirring the whole time, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is thickened about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the beans and vegetables into the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble and cook pot pies: Divide the filling between four ovenproof 2-cup bowls. (You’ll have about 1 1/2 cups filling in each.) Set the bowls on a baking pan. Divide the dough into four pieces, and roll it out into rounds that will cover your bowls with an overhang, or about 1 inch wider in diameter than your bowls. Whisk the egg wash and brush it lightly around the top rim of your bowls to keep the lid glued on and drape the pastry over each pressing gently to glue it. Brush the lids with egg wash, then several small vents in each lid to help steam escape. Bake until crust is lightly bronzed and filling is bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: You can place a bottom to your pie if you wish. I do just because like the extra richness and it reminds me of childhood.

May 15 Winemaker Dinner at Ledger David

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Join Winemaker Kiley Evans and the Ledger David team for an intimate winemaker dinner on Fri., May 15 at 6:30pm at Le Petit Tasting Room in Central Point. Featured wines include a pre-release of our 2013 Malbec paired with a special menu created by Chef Bill Prahl from Déjà Vu Bistro & Wine Bar.

Cost is $65 for wine club members, $70 for non-wine club members.

Reservations Required. Limited Seating.
Email info@ledgerdavid.com or call (541) 664-2218 for more info.

MENU

Chilled Lobster, Baby Bok Choy, Toasted Almonds & Orange Salad
Paired with 2013 Viognier

Cassoulet of White Beans, Morels, Spanish Chorizo, Tricolor Pepper Confit
Paired with 2012 Tempranillo

Spice Braised Crispy Pork Belly, “Tobacco” Caramelized Red Onions, Farro, Blackberry Gastrique
Paired with 2011 Dark Night

Sweet Spicy Barbequed New York Shell Steak, Tomato Jam, Potato Artichoke Gratin
Paired with 2013 Malbec

“Peaches & Cream” Oven Roasted Peach Crepes, Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Pistachio Dust
Paired with 2014 Malvasia Bianca

Ledger David Gleans Winemaking Insight from Legendary Winemaker Gary Figgins of Leonetti Cellar

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By Kiley Evans, Winemaker

leonetti

David and Kiley toured the wine barrels of Leonetti Cellar.

A relentless pursuit of quality. This mantra guides every winemaking activity at Ledger David Cellars. The pursuit of quality takes many different forms, as well. Scientific research, vineyard experiments, and cellar trials have merit in the pursuit, but the wisdom handed down from those with more experience has its place, as well. When that wisdom comes Gary Figgins, who planted the first commercial vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley and with his wife founded Leonetti Cellar as the first commercial winery in the Walla Walla Valley nearly 40 years ago, it takes on serious weight. Leonetti Cellar is a legendary vineyard and winery whose focus has always been on quality. Their exceptional wines, consistently reviewed and rated as among the very best in America, combined with a very limited supply creates an undeniable mystique, as evidenced by the 3+ year wait to get on their mailing list. While justly revered for monumental, collectible, impossible-to-get Cabernet Sauvignons, what many may not realize is that Mr. Figgins produces arguably the best, and most highly respected, Sangiovese on the planet that isn’t from Italy.

Owner David Traul and I had the great fortune to meet Gary and Vineyard Manager Jason Magnaghi recently and when the opportunity arises to sit with the Master and his benchmark wines one seizes the chance to take proper objective measure of one’s efforts. We tasted the Ledger David Sangiovese from multiple vintages. The comments were encouraging (deep, ripe, effusive fruits with great weight and acid/tannin balance). We also were fortunate to taste the Leonetti 2005 and 2010. Both were beyond impressive for their balance, integration, presence, and personality. Trying to choose between the two would be an exercise in futility as they were so different, yet so utterly delicious.

We toured the winery, cellar, bottling room, and barrel cave. We discussed, among other topics, all things Sangiovese from trellising to crop loads to fermentation to blending to aging. The questions, answers, and discussions were lively and the wealth of knowledge offered was astounding. What we learned is that we are doing quite a few things right in the vineyard and winery. Our crop loads are in line for the variety when considering our spacing and site. Solid vineyard management. Our wines are showing a good balance of fruit, oak, and spice with the variety’s typical dustiness. The intensity and concentration are there. Varietal character? Check. What we also learned is that there are some areas of experimentation we should explore that could have potentially huge impact on wine textural quality, length, and longevity. No, we’re not going to spell it all out in this short blog post, but trust us when we say the bar is about to get raised…again.

April 16 Winemaker Dinner at Ledger David

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Join Winemaker Kiley Evans and the Ledger David team for a special winemaker dinner at Le Petit Tasting Room in Central Point on Thursday, April 16 at 6:30pm.

A pre-release of our long-awaited first vintage 2013 Petit Verdot will take center stage with a special menu created by Chef Bill Prahl from Déjà Vu Bistro & Wine Bar. The event will also feature a selection of library wines.

Cost is $65. Reservations Required. Limited Seating.
Contact Heather Davis at (541) 664-2218 for more info.

MENU

Chilled Lobster, Baby Bok Choy, Toasted Almonds & Orange Salad
Paired with 2013 Viognier

Cassoulet of White Beans, Morels, Spanish Chorizo, Tricolor Pepper Confit
Paired with 2012 Tempranillo

Spice Braised Crispy Pork Belly, “Tobacco” Caramelized Red Onions, Farro, Blackberry Gastrique
Paired with 2011 Dark Night

Smoky Anderson Ranch Lamb Loin Roulade, Rosemary Potato Cake Pink Peppercorn Lamb Reduction, Charred Brussel Sprouts
Paired with 2013 Petit Verdot

“Peaches & Cream” Oven Roasted Peach Crepes, Vanilla Crème Anglaise, Pistachio Dust
Paired with 2014 Malvasia Bianca