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Date Printed: 10/20/2014
L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2006
L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2006
(search item no. 100468)
collectible wine

The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
Wine & Spirits rating: 93 points
PRICE ON 10/20/2014: $37.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2008 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2007 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2001 Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 8% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc

This vineyard, planted in the terraced remnants of ice-age flood deposits, is one of the Walla Walla Valley's most reputable vineyards. Apogee was the first wine produced from this vineyard and shows its characteristic spicy, bold and dark fruit flavors with a rich structure, well-integrated tannins and a long finish.

A cool spring, followed by a cool fruit set in June set the stage for lower yields than normal in 2006. Light crops tend to get lighter, and an abundance of sunshine and heat units in July resulted in small berry size and cluster weights. A mild August helped extend the late season ripening period into September and October. The overall season crop load was lower than normal, at 2 ½ tons per acre. Our traditional cool long harvest with no rainfall resulted in fabulous fruit quality, with bright clean aromatics and acidity in the whites and vibrant extraction and rich color in the red wines.

Boldly aromatic, this wine has spicy aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, earthy hints of sweet tobacco and leather, and smoky dark fruit packed with chocolate, mint and cherry finish.

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.