L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2016  Front Label
L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2016  Front LabelL'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2016  Front Bottle Shot

L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2016

  • JD95
  • W&S94
  • JS94
  • RP91
  • WE90
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This complex wine has brooding aromas of black cherry, cocoa, licorice and leather. Flavors of tobacco, currant and baking spice are wrapped in fine-grained tannins on a robust fnish.

Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Franc

Critical Acclaim

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JD 95
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard comes all from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Malbec, and 4% Cabernet Franc raised in 50% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a nuanced, layered bouquet of crème de cassis, spiced black raspberries, graphite, spring flowers, and classy oak. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and in need of 3-5 years of bottle age. It's a brilliant wine that will see it 20th birthday in fine form.
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
The 2016 Apogee is a blend of 60 percent cabernet sauvignon and 25 percent merlot, the rest malbec and cabernet franc. The cabernet gives the wine some heft while the merlot and other varieties seem to open it—saving it from becoming monolithic and overly compact. This has the scent of Mexican chocolate, spiced mocha and tobacco leaf, the flavor backed by a subtle sweetness, a deep core of plum and fig that mingles effortlessly with the spice notes. It’s a splendid achievement; for ribs.
JS 94
James Suckling
Tons of cherries, redcurrants and wild herbs make the nose of this totally distinctive red blend really exciting. The palate more than confirms this impression with a stunning balance of freshness, vibrant fruit and focused power, through the long, sleek and complex finish. A blend of 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 25 per cent merlot, 11 per cent malbec and four per cent cabernet franc. Try to wait until at least 2021.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard opens to aromas of dark red fruit and dusty black fruit, balanced by soft red and purple flowers with sweet spice nuances floating on top of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is clean and correct, with a food-friendly expression and tannins gripping the gumline. The wine lingers with a mixed berry compote and brown baking spice-flavored finish. It’s a beautiful wine. Rating: 91+

WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) and Merlot (25%) make up the heart of this wine, with the rest Malbec and Cabernet Franc. The aromas intrigue, with notes of fresh and dried herbs, cherry cordial, plum, coffee, vanilla, barrel spice and whiffs of orange peel. The palate paints around the edges, with quite firm tannins flowing down the middle. Bright acidity accents it. Coffee notes linger on the finish. It doesn't all work in concert at present. Additional time in the bottle will serve it well. Best after 2025.
Cellar Selection
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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 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.



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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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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.

STC988724_2016 Item# 567309

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