L'Ecole No. 41 Merlot Walla Walla Valley 2005
L’Ecole 41 was founded in 1983 by Jean and Baker Ferguson and is now run by their daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Marty Clubb. The schoolhouse after which the winery is named was built in 1915 in Frenchtown, a small community just west of Walla Walla whose own name is derived from the many French-Canadians who settled there in the early 1800’s and planted the original vineyards. The French name of the winery is in recognition of their efforts (the number 41 is the number of the precinct to which the school once belonged). The goal at L’Ecole 41 is to achieve clean, ripe, stylistically expressive and aromatic wines that allow the character of the individual vineyards to shine through. There is great focus on vineyard management and minimal winemaking: gravity flow, minimal handling, aggressive pruning and green harvesting and sustainable vineyard practices. The crown jewels at L’Ecole 41 are the two single vineyards in Walla Walla which they jointly own with Leonetti Cellar and Pepper Bridge winery. These are the Seven Hills vineyard, which provides around 35% of the winery’s production, and Pepper Bridge, which was planted in 1991 and now covers around 180 acres. The cool 2005 Spring provided perfect conditions for balanced tissue regeneration and canopy growth on the heels of the hard 2004 Winter. Late summer ripening delivered up excellent quality despite lower than normal yields, a staunch reminder that sometimes the best vintages are cultivated from less than ideal growing conditions. This Merlot shows Seven Hills Vineyard’s characteristic aromas of cedar, silky black cherry fruit, baking spice and leather. Flavors of blueberry, blackberry and cocoa melt into a gripping, complex mid-palate followed by fine chalky tannins on an elegant, earthy mineral finish. It will work wonderfully with rare tuna steak, crispy duck pancakes, or monterey jack cheese.
RiceSelect's creamy Arborio gets blended with sweet potato, coconut milk and vanilla to create this decadent cheesecake. Pairs well with Saunternes; a white dessert wine that has hints of coconut from aging in oak barrels.
Food Pairings for L'Ecole No. 41 Merlot Walla Walla Valley
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