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L’Ecole No. 41 2012 Merlot, Columbia Valley, Merlot, $26
The historic little schoolhouse in the Walla Walla Valley region settled by French-Canadians takes fruit from two estate sites — Ferguson and Seven Hills — as well as such sites as Klipsun, Sagemoor Farms and StoneTree for this bottling that’s quadruple the scope of the Lowden winery’s estate Merlot program. Aromas of dark blueberries, Western serviceberry, vanilla and light toast lead to flavors of black cherries and plum, which make for a rich midpalate, fine-grained tannins and a wealth of age-worthy acidity. This is one of five wines made by Marty Clubb and Mike Sharon to be featured — via a blind judging — in the Washington State Wine Commission’s corporate tent at the 2015 U.S. Open.
Production: 4,840 cases