MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
L'Ecole No. 41 - Wines
The Wines: (Fall 1996)
One of the winery's trademark wines. The grapes are picked late in
the season when the varietal's unique character is fully developed,
then the wine is barrel fermented to dryness and oak-aged on the lees
up to six months in new French oak. Malolactic fermentation in the
spring rounds out the richness of the wine.
The Chardonnay is made in the traditional Burgundian style, barrel
fermented to dryness, with malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging
to develop its rich flavors.
(Chenin Blanc): These grapes are picked earlier in the season when
acid levels are high, then cold fermented for three months to retain a
lively fruity character.
The winery's other trademark wine. L'Ecole's Merlots are unfined and
only lightly filtered, made in a traditional Bordeaux style including
small lot fermentations with the skins being punched down during
fermentation. Such intense extraction from the fruit results in big,
flavorful and full-bodied wines. Grapes are purchased from local
distinguished vineyards, including Sagemoor Farms, Don Graves, Yakima
Bend Ranch, Seven Hills, and Pepper Bridge Farms. The wines are aged
up to 18 months in French and American oak barrels, and then furthered
bottle aged before release.
This wine is produced in a similar Bordeaux style to the Merlot. It
is aged 22 months in French and American Oak barrels.
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