White Wines    Chardonnay    Columbia Valley    Washington   
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Date Printed: 2/10/2016
L'Ecole 41 Chardonnay 2007
L'Ecole 41 Chardonnay 2007
(search item no. 97709)
Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 2/10/2016: $21.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2013 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine is a blend of three distinguished vineyards: 52% Schmitt Vineyard; 36% Evergreen and 12% Bacchus.

Some of the best Chardonnays in Washington State are grown in the slightly cooler growing conditions of Yakima Valley and in the northern latitudes of the Columbia Valley. The Schmitt Vineyard (Yakima Valley) provides ripe tropical fruit, while Evergreen (latitude 47 on the Columbia River) contributes crisp acidity and minerality. The old vines at the warmer Bacchus Vineyard provide a nuance of ripe pear on this Burgundian style Chardonnay.

Elegantly balanced, this Burgundian style Chardonnay shows perfumed blossom fruit, Fuji apple and Asian pear with spicy tropical flavors and subtle mineral nuances that gain complexity on a long, robust finish.

"The aromas are subtle and complex, with nuances of sweet pine and citrus that are usually blown out by warmer sites. About 20% was aged in new oak, but the influence is barely noticeable, as a gentle background, giving light scents of toast and hints of butterscotch. This is the perfect compromise between barrel and tank-style Chardonnay, taking the best of each, as evidenced by the creaminess that underlies the spice and lightly herbal fruit." 90 Points
Wine Enthusiast
December 1, 2008

"Apricot, orange and spices on the nose, along with a leesy nuance. Rather silky in the mouth, with ripe acidity and some minerality perking up the nectarine and floral flavors. This wine, which goes through partial malolactic fermentation, is now moved out of oak and into stainless steel tanks earlier." 89 Points
International Wine Cellar
November/December 2008

My Notes:

Additional wines from L'Ecole 41:

About L'Ecole 41:

L'Ecole No 41, a family owned vineyard, has been producing premium handcrafted varietal wines since 1983 in the historic Frenchtown School in Lowden, Washington. Having been founded by Jean and Baker Ferguson, the winery is now owned and operated by their daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Martin Clubb. Martin has been the general manager and winemaker since 1989.

In 1984, shortly after the first 1983 vintage was resting in barrel, Jean and Baker Ferguson, the founders, held a contest with all the relatives' children under grade six. The objective: draw a colorful drawing to be used as a wine label. Some of the children drew pictures of the school building, others drew bottles of wine with glasses, and at least one drew a picture of the cat. The prize at the time was $100 cash, plus royalties on posters sold (fortunately the state liquor board would not allow royalties on the wine).

The winner: 8 year old third grade cousin Ryan Campbell. Ryan's watercolor of the schoolhouse was drawn just about the time of Walla Walla's Hot Air Balloon Stampede, and he came up with the grape cluster balloon. All of the entries, including Ryan's original, hang in the tasting room for visitors to admire. Today, Ryan has just completed his Architecture Degree at the University of Idaho.