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A family-owned business, L'Ecole Nº 41 was founded by Jean and Baker Ferguson. Today, the winery is owned and operated by their daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Martin Clubb. Built in 1915, the schoolhouse is located in historic Frenchtown, a small community just west of Walla Walla, Washington. Frenchtown derived its name from the many French-Canadians who settled the valley during the early 1800s. Legend has it, these men of French descent were raising grapes and producing wine. By the...
This fresh and vibrant Chenin Blanc shows highly expressive aromatics of passion fruit and orange blossom, with flavors of star fruit, tangerine and apple on a balanced, crisp mineral finish.
Over 30 years of meticulous vineyard management and winemaking experience are fundamental to the quality of our wines and reputation for excellence. We are engaged in growing and making 100% of our wines. The Chenin Blanc was harvested in the cool, early morning hours and promptly delivered to the winery for immediate pressing. The fruit was gently whole-cluster pressed to minimize phenolics and solids. The settled juice was racked off the solids then fermented slowly in a stainless steel tank over an extended period of time at cool temperatures to yield rich and fruity flavors. Upon completion the fermentation was stopped by cold suppression and the wine was filtered.
The 2014 vintage was a repeat of the warm 2013 vintage with heat units nearly identical, and no unusual winter frost, pest, or disease pressure. Bud break was early, followed by a warm spring and relatively early bloom. Fruit set was near ideal. Slowing tactics were implemented such as delayed thinning and leafing to delay veraison and ultimately harvest. Temperatures cooled mid-August stretching out the hang-time to complete veraison. Berry size and berry count per cluster were slightly up resulting in healthy crop yields. Modest fall day-time temperatures and cool nights resulted in a rich and vibrant structure with bold color development. Overall warmer conditions delivered ample sugars and surprisingly strong acids, particularly in our higher elevation sites.
- 91 Points -
Stephen Tanzer, October 2017
(from four old vineyards in Yakima, planted in 1978 and 1979; done entirely in stainless steel): Pale, bright yellow. Lovely lift to the aromas and flavors of orange, lemon, ginger, shiso leaf and flowers. Dense but racy wine with a cooler note of pink grapefruit and a suggestion of botrytis (but just two grams per liter residual sugar). Turns more citrussy and dry on the dusty, building back end. This should age well on its sound acidity. (Clubb noted that he has never acidified his Chenin Blanc because this fruit comes in last, with the highest natural acidity.) Really terrific texture and fruit here, in the style of a just off-dry Vouvray. I'd like to come back to this impressive wine in a couple years.See detailed press review
- 91 Points -
From vines planted in the 1970s, the 2016 Chenin Blanc Old Vines wafts from the glass with aromas of yellow apple, lanolin and citrus oil, framed by light reduction. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, glossy and succulent, with lovely texture and concentration, bright acids and a pure, mouthwatering finish. This is quintessential Chenin, and to deliver this degree of character for such a modest price is impressive indeed!See detailed press review
- 90 Points -
- Best Buy -
L'Ecole has been carrying the banner for Washington Chenin high since 1987. Coming from vineyards planted in 1978 and 1979, the aromas are fresh and lively, with notes of sliced pear, passion fruit, flower and apple. The palate is full in feel and redolent with fruit flavors that sail on the finish...See detailed press review