L’Ecole No 41 2012 Estate Merlot, Walla Walla Vally, $37

By on December 7, 2015

lecole-no-41-estate-merlot-2012-bottleIn the past, Marty Clubb’s Estate Merlot centered on vaunted Seven Hills Vineyard, but now his successful and fascinating Ferguson site contributes to this project – in this case 24 percent. Special treatment of the Merlot that winemaker Mike Sharon orchestrates includes 18 months in entirely small French oak barrels, with 40 percent of those new. That helps account for aromas of mocha and bold spices with black cherry, blackberry and a pinch of fresh herbs from the Cabernet Franc (10%). There’s a rich and juicy presentation to the palate that brings flavors of Bing cherry and blueberry, backed by moderate and balanced tannins. Its luscious midpalate leads to a pleasingly long finish of blackberry and toffee. It merited a silver medal at the 2015 Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition, a scholarship fundraiser for Walla Walla Community College’s wine program.

Rating: Excellent

Production: 1,060 cases

Alcohol: 14.5%

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Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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