L'Ecole 41 Chardonnay 2007
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
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
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1983 in the Walla Walla Valley, L'Ecole No 41 is one of Washington State's most iconic and oldest family-owned wineries. Housed in the historic Frenchtown School depicted on our label, we have earned international acclaim for producing distinctive wines of the highest quality. We craft ultra-premium wines that reflect the unmistakable typicity of Washington State and the unique terroir of our Walla Walla Valley vineyards.
Growing and making 100% of our wines, each bottle is handcrafted with a commitment to quality in the vineyards and the winery. More than three decades of winemaking experience, ongoing investments in our Walla Walla Estate Ferguson and Seven Hills Vineyards, and long term relationships with many of the most prominent vineyards in Washington State are central to our well-known reputation for quality and consistency across our wine portfolio. These tenets will continue to sustain L'Ecole well into the future.
L'Ecole is one of the most honored wineries in Washington State. We are proud to be recognized by Wine & Spirits Magazine as a Top 100 Winery of the Year for fourteen consecutive years. In 2014, Decanter awarded our 2011 Estate Ferguson the International Trophy for Best Bordeaux Blend in the World! In 2016, the 2013 Ferguson won the International Trophy for Best New World Bordeaux Blend from the Six Nations Wine Challenge.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.