L'Ecole 41 Ferguson Estate Red 2018
Since its inaugural vintage in 2011, Ferguson has quickly become L’Ecole No 41’s pre-eminent Bordeaux blend, furthering our reputation for excellent single-vineyard wines from the Walla Walla Valley. Ferguson reflects the unique terroir expression of its microclimate and geological site. This wine shares its name with our Ferguson Estate Vineyard.
With a flavor profile distinctly influenced by its volcanic basalt soil, Ferguson is a richly structured wine offering complex aromas of mineral-laced blackberries, expressive violet, black plums, and sandalwood. Layers of fruit and espresso are framed by lifted tannins, integrated with graphite and crushed rocks on the palate. Precise and structured, Ferguson’s pronounced natural acidity carries through to a satiny yet firm finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Notes of blackberries, blueberries and spices on the nose. It’s full-bodied with chewy tannins. Structured, with a lot of wood and a juicy character on the center-palate. Mineral and racy. Flavorful finish. A blend of 55% cabernet sauvignon, 24% merlot, 11% cabernet franc, 5% malbec and 5% petit verdot. Drink in 2024.
Composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot, the 2018 Ferguson Vineyard starts with a gorgeous nose of elegant oak, fresh and ripe fruit tones and resinous purple flowers. Full-bodied, the blend displays immaculate balance, possessing both power and precision as flavors of spiced cherry compote, black plum skin and redcurrant sway with seductive tones of vanilla, cinnamon and nuances of cardamom madeleines. The wonderfully structured mid-palate displays firm tannins that will loosen in time, before concluding with a long-lingering and ever-evolving finish. The wine rested 22 months in French oak, 50% new. It's superb, and the best thing to do is to put it in the cellar and forget about it for a few years until it's found its stride. Bravo, I think I might finish the glass. Rating: 93+
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.
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.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, the best of these are densely hued, fragrant, full of fruit and boast a structure that begs for cellar time. Somm Secret—Blends from Bordeaux are generally earthier compared to those from the New World, which tend to be fruit-dominant.