Bordeaux Meets Walla Walla: L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee 2007

ecoleThere were a lot of pedigreed¬† and pricey wines at a trade event we attended recently. They were all from Washington State, which my readers will know is one of my favorite wine regions. The wineries were showcasing lots of Cab, Merlots, and Syrahs, bottled separately and blended, but my favorite of the evening was L’Ecole No. 41 Seven Hills Vineyard Perigee 2007. And this sure wasn’t the priciest bottle there…

Now I gotta admit that I (and my customers) have had trouble with this winery’s name. But it turns out that it pays homage to the building they occupy, which was originally a school (“ecole”) in District 41, built in 1915 in a community founded by French-Canadian immigrants. So that explains it. The winery is family-owned, now run by the second generation. They’ve won a boatload of awards and high ratings from all the big critics.

The Seven Hills Vineyard that produced the grapes for Perigee is co-owned by L’Ecole, Pepper Bridge and Leonetti, all big names in Washington wine. It was even named one of the “Ten Great Vineyards of the World” by Wine and Spirits magazine. I can certainly speak to the quality of the wine this vineyard produces. Perigee 2007 is a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The fruit is intense on the nose and palate, suggesting dark cherry and blackberry with mocha and spice. The mid-palate is deep, and the intensity seems to build right through the long finish. At $50, this is a real bargain compared to the all the $75-ish Washington blends we tasted. I’d like to run right out and find a case to lay down, so I can enjoy this one for a long time to come.

Cheers!

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