L'Ecole 41 Merlot 2005
Merlot from Columbia Valley, Washington
Blend: 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon
Rich with aromatic aromas of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon, this spicy Merlot shows red cherry fruit, black plum, blackberry and dark fruit flavors encased in a peppery, chocolate, black cherry finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "Beautifully dark and plummy, with smoky, opulent fruit. Though full and fleshy, it has complex layering—it’s not just a fruit bomb. Berries and spice, chocolate and herb work in sync, creating a complete, rich and toasty wine with excellent depth."
Wine Spectator - "Bright and distinctive, offering red cherry and currant flavors that just won't quit as this lean, lithe wine zings across the palate. Finishes with silky texture. Drink now through 2012. 6,082 cases made. "
L'Ecole 41 Winery
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. View all L'Ecole 41 Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3 }div>3.1 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 0
- 4 Stars: 4
- 3 Stars: 0
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 2
6 ratings, 5 with reviewsMike Hines - Sammamish, WA45/31/2008This wine looks and smells great, but give it quite a bit of time to breathe to get the most out of it this year. Not quite as well blended as the nose would suggest and a touch sharp at the finish cost this wine a star and 3 points on my scale. I think this will do quite well if opened a year from now. Let breathe for 3 hours if opening in '08. Color 1-3:3; Nose 1-4:3; Taste 1-8:5; Overall 1-5:3 Total 0-20: 14Clixby Ann - Wimberley, TX412/15/2008I agree with another review here. Looking back at my bottle's tag notes, after we let the wine breathe for at least an hour, it was much fruiter and more smooth than any other Merlot we've had.410/4/2011
A solid Merlot, with a bit more than some of the milder Merlots. Had with steak, and wife liked it... was solid on tongue, not jumpy and hint of fruit to give it bit more than standard 'Merlot taste'18/12/2011tom graves - West Orange, NJ410/29/2010Very pleasant companion for almost any meal.14/27/2010Terribly disappointed. No shape, no body. For the price, I wish I could have enjoyed it more...Related Products
- Smooth & Supple
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- 5 Stars: