The little historic schoolhouse in the Walla Walla Valley town of Lowden continues to set the bar high for producers of Merlot in Washington state, and it all starts with a constellation of some of the Northwest’s top sites for Merlot. They include estate plantings Seven Hills and Ferguson in the Walla Walla Valley, as well as Pepper Bridge and Summit View, Sagemoor vineyards Bacchus, Dionysus and Weinbau, StoneTree on the Wahluke Slope as well as Klipsun on Red Mountain and nearby Candy Mountain. Aromas of dark cherry, blackberry and clove jump to greet your nose, followed by flavors of the same, in addition to a delightful distribution of tannin and juicy fruit. This is a stellar example showing off bright bold fruit with a silky mouth feel and balanced tannin, all influenced by 18 months in 30% new barrels. It earned praise from some of the region’s top wine buyers, who voted it Best Merlot at the sixth annual Great Northwest Invitational Wine Competition. L’Ecole owner/managing winemaker Marty Clubb will be featured at the Oct. 20 Skamania Lodge winemaker dinner in the Columbia Gorge.
Production: 5,170 cases
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