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L'Ecole 41 Columbia Valley Syrah 2015

Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • JD91
  • RP91
  • JS91
  • WE90
15% ABV
  • RP91
  • WS92
  • WE90
  • WW90
  • RP91
  • WS91
  • WE90
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4.2 13 Ratings
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4.2 13 Ratings
15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark, robust and spicy this full bodied Syrah shows rich flavors of boysenberry fruit de pate, peppercorn, and licorice through an earthyfinish.

The growing region in Washington State is ideally suited to maximize the full expression of Syrah. Spicy, rich and complex, with soft tannins and bright acidity, this Columbia Valley Syrah is the perfect food pairing wine.

Blend: 82% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 2% Mourvèdre

Critical Acclaim

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JD 91
Jeb Dunnuck
A terrific value in Washington State Syrah, the 2015 Syrah Columbia Valley (82% Syrah, 16% Grenache, and 2% Mourvèdre brought up in neutral barrels) offers loads of ripe black fruits, peppery herbs, and earthy goodness in a plump, forward, yet concentrated style. It has top-notch purity, well-integrated acidity, and a great finish, all making for an outstanding Syrah that will keep for 6-8 years.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Columbia Valley Syrah (which incorporates 16% Grenache and 2% Mourvèdre) offers up aromas of crunchy black currant fruit and pencil lead. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, rich and chewy, with bright fruit flavors and balancing acids and a long, tangy finish. While the torrid 2015 vintage seems to have burnt off some of Syrah's more obvious varietal markers, it's a well-made, delicious wine for a competitive price.
JS 91
James Suckling
This takes off as a riper style with plenty of bold plums and blackberries, cassis and blueberries on the palate. Sturdy, bold tannins to close. Drink or hold.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
This wine is a blend of fruit from Seven Hills, Candy Mountain, Summit View, Bacchus and Stone Tree vineyards. Aromas of raspberry and blackberry jam are followed by ripe rich fruit flavors and a warm finish. There’s no mistaking the warm vintage that it comes from.
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L'Ecole 41

L'Ecole 41

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L'Ecole 41, Columbia Valley, Washington
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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 re?ect 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.



Columbia Valley

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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.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

WWH148077_2015 Item# 359397