L’Ecole No. 41 2014 StoneTree Vineyard Grenache, Wahluke Slope, $36
Tedd Wildman’s StoneTree Vineyard on the sultry Wahluke Slope excels with red Rhone varieties, so Grenache, a rather rare and expensive grape in Washington, is a prized commodity. Ripeness seems to never be an issue at StoneTree, and this lot was harvested remarkably early – Sept. 13 – at nearly 27 Brix. The predominantly neutral barrel program allows for the fruit to shine, starting with juicy aromas of raspberry, sweet blueberry, Rainier cherry and dried strawberry. Its structure is creamy, smooth and delicious, bringing bright flavors of pink raspberry and white strawberry with a late tug of red currant skins. Until 2011, all of their Grenache off StoneTree went into the Columbia Valley Syrah program, but L’Ecole has increased production of this standalone bottling by more than 50 percent in the past three vintages.
Production: 325 cases