Our last tasting of the day on our Walla Walla wine tour weekend was at L’Ecole No. 41 in the historic Frenchtown School just outside of Walla Walla in Lowden. The building was built in 1915, to replace the first Frenchtown School, a log cabin from 1870. L’Ecole was founded in 1983, and is the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla area.
We arrived towards the end of the day, but our server was more than gracious about guiding us through a tasting and answering our questions. The tasting room retains many of the original historic features, including the hardwood floors, and has been decorated with period Barrister Bookcases collected by the winery’s original owner. The ambiance of the tasting room just adds to the charm.
We began with the 2011 Estate Luminesce, a blend of 67% Semillon and 33% Sauvignon Blanc, from Seven Hills Vineyard. It showed tart citrus and floral flavors. Then we had the 2011 Columbia Valley Chardonnay, a very well balanced wine with apple and minerality on light oak. It is a Chardonnay that both Jon and I can enjoy because it is a great balance between the unoaked Chards that I love and the big, buttery Chards that are Jon’s favorites.
Moving on to the red wines, we started with the 2009 Estate Merlot, with grapes from the Seven Hills Vineyard. It was a nicely balanced wine with medium tannins and black cherry flavors. The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon is a bold wine aged in 40% new oak, with flavors of tobacco and heavier tannins.
Next we tried the 2009 Estate Perigee, a blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot. This is a very elegant Bordeaux blend that was aged for 22 months – a very nice wine.
The last wine that we tasted was the Candy Mountain Vineyard Red Wine. It hasn’t been released yet; it will come out in April 2013. It is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot. This is a fantastic wine with flavors of blackberry and chocolate. There are only 350 cases, and I’m sure it will sell quickly. I was pretty disappointed that I couldn’t buy it that day!
It was a great end to a wonderful day of wine tasting – L ‘Ecole was a real treat.