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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2007

Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
  • WS92
  • W&S92
  • WE91
14.5% ABV
  • RP94
  • D93
  • W&S92
  • WE90
  • RP93
  • WS91
  • WE91
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • W&S91
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • RP94
  • W&S93
  • WS91
  • W&S94
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3.8 5 Ratings
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3.8 5 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Boldly aromatic, this mature wine has aromas of cinnamon and nutmeg, earthy hints of sweet tobacco and leather, and smoky dark fruit packed with chocolate, mint and cherry fruit on a richly balanced and integrated finish.

L'Ecole has been producing Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee since 1993. Apogee represents our best effort to capture this vineyard's distinctive and characteristic spicy bold aromas, dark fruit flavors and rich structure.

60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 6% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The fruit for the 2007 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard matured 2 weeks later than the Seven Hills fruit. It is an almost identical blend with the exception of 6% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc and was aged in 50% new oak. Aromas of toasty oak, tobacco, leather, Asian spices, black currant, and black cherry leads to a more structured offering that will require 4-6 years of cellaring. Well-balanced, intense, and mouth-filling, it will amply reward those with patience.

L’Ecole No. 41, under the leadership of Marty Clubb, is one of Walla Walla’s pioneers, the third modern day winery in the Valley. Over the years the winery has prospered, outgrown the namesake schoolhouse, and now is about to outgrow the charming label which may have contributed to its fame. Be that as it may, L’Ecole now produces about 35,000 cases with distribution in all 50 states and abroad. Despite the expansion, quality has remained consistently excellent as has pricing, no doubt the main reason why L’Ecole seems to have survived the recession without too much pain.

WS 92
Wine Spectator
Polished, vibrant and distinctive for the guava accents around a supple core of cherry and spice, all of it lingering as the finish revs up. Shows some cedar notes as well. This one has pizzazz. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2012 through 2020. 1,630 cases made.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Mostly cabernet and merlot, this blend is powerful at the outset, with a leafy, savory cedar note. The plum fruit is reticent at first, but its depth and leathery grip imply the wine is still burled up in its structure. It's only in the finish that the wine's acidity loosens its tannic grip. Cellar for two years at least, then open for roast beef.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
First to arrive, straight to your awaiting nose, are complex aromatics, with a mix of floral and spicy highlights that surround the black and purple fruits with exotic nuances. The fruit is nigh perfect—ripe, round, forward and loaded with plummy, sweet berries. It gathers strength in the core, holds, and then expands into a finish dusted with cocoa and coffee.
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L'Ecole 41

L'Ecole 41

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L'Ecole 41, Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
Video of winery

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.



Walla Walla Valley

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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. It is home to both historic wineries and younger, up-and-coming producers. Though it is cooler and wetter than most of Washington State’s viticultural areas, irrigation from the Columbia River is still common, though some vineyards on the rainier eastern end of the AVA are able to dry farm.

The conditions in the Walla Walla Valley are perfectly suited to Rhône-inspired Syrahs, distinguished by savory notes of black olives, smoke, bacon fat, and fresh earth. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are produced in a range of styles from smooth and supple to tannic and structured. White varieties are a relative rarity here. Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes blended with Sémillon in the style of Bordeaux white blends, resulting in a richer, rounder version take on the variety. Plantings of Viognier are minimal, but often quite successful.

Bordeaux Blends

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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, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

AIWAPOGEE_2007 Item# 111335