L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018  Front Label
L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018  Front LabelL'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018  Front Bottle Shot

L'Ecole 41 Estate Merlot 2018

  • JS94
  • JD92
  • RP92
  • WE90
750ML / 14.5% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS94
  • WE91
  • JS95
  • JD93
  • W&S90
  • JS93
  • JD91
  • RP90
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This expressive, well-structured Merlot reveals opulent aromatics of dark cherry and blackberry, pipe tobacco, savory cedar, and roasted figs, completed with a touch of sage. Its ripe rich texture is laced with delicate graphite notes, along with bitter chocolate and plum, grounded with ample polished tannins.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 94
James Suckling
Notes of raspberry, plum and nutmeg. It’s medium-bodied with plush tannins. Chalky texture on the palate with juicy character. Velvety and balanced with a long, flavorful finish. Firmness at the end.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
Including 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Merlot Walla Walla Valley gives up a delicious, medium to full-bodied, mouth-filling style as well as loads of pure black cherry and currant fruits, ripe, velvety tannins, no hard edges, and subtle tobacco, cedarwood, and chocolatey aromas and flavors. As with all the wines from L'Ecole No. 41, it has a classic, balanced, Old World vibe while still bringing beautiful fruit. Drink it over the coming 10-12 years or more.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made with the addition of 12% Cabernet Franc and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2018 Merlot Walla Walla Valley begins with enticing aromas of baking spices, vanilla, sweet cardamom and nutmeg before displaying juicy plum tones with elements of dark cherry and dried sage. Medium to full-bodied, the Merlot offers a delicious juicy frame of fruit that exudes oak spices before fine-grained tannins lift the mid-palate. The wine concludes with a delightfully lingering finish that drinks like a bottle of wine almost three times its price. The wine fermented in small French barrels, 35% new, before resting 18 months in oak. Bravo! This is a steal at this price. Just under 13,000 bottles were produced.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Equal parts Seven Hills and Ferguson Vineyard fruit, this wine is settling into the bottle. Still, there is immediate appeal to the aromas of raspberry, flower, cedar and spice. The palate paints around the edges initially, with the middle filling in over time. It's almost tangy out of the gate, settling with time. The tannins give it a grainy structure. The pieces are all there but need time to come together.
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L'Ecole 41

L'Ecole 41

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L'Ecole 41, Washington
L'Ecole 41 Winery Video

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.

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Walla Walla Valley Wine

Columbia Valley, Washington

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Responsible for some of Washington’s most highly acclaimed wines, the Walla Walla Valley has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years and is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers.

The Walla Walla Valley, a Native American name meaning “many waters,” is located in southeastern Washington; part of the appellation actually extends into Oregon. Soils here are well-drained, sandy loess over Missoula Flood deposits and fractured basalt.

It is a region perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of red berry, black olive, smoke and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot create a range of styles from smooth and supple to robust and well-structured. White varieties are rare but some producers blend Sauvignon Blanc with Sémillon, resulting in a rich and round style, and plantings of Viognier, while minimal, are often quite successful.

Of note within Walla Walla, is one new and very peculiar appellation, called the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. This is the only AVA in the U.S. whose boundaries are totally defined by the soil type. Soils here look a bit like those in the acclaimed Rhône region of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but are large, ancient, basalt cobblestones. These stones work in the same way as they do in Chateauneuf, absorbing and then radiating the sun's heat up to enhance the ripening of grape clusters. The Rocks District is within the part of Walla Walla that spills over into Oregon and naturally excels in the production of Rhône varieties like Syrah, as well as the Bordeaux varieties.

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With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

STC125803_2018 Item# 781245

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