Another early WAwineman classic, 1st posted on March 15, 2008:
One of the most taken-for-granted wineries in WA…L’Ecole punches out some consistently delicious wines, which is why I chose to signup for their terrific wine club. Longtime on the Walla Walla scene, since 1983, first the Fergusons, then Megan and Marty Clubb have just the most picturesque-looking retro funkalicious winery converted from an old French-Canadian schoolhouse. The label design of a watercolor rendition of the winery by an elementary school circa-1984 cousin is so genuinely cute that it embarrasses those ‘Flat Tire’, ‘Red Bicycle’, ‘Green Truck’, and whatever sounding strange names with confusing pictures that are slapped on wines these days. What the heck does a red bicycle have to do with wine??? And can you imagine some other WA winemaker boasting about her/his semillon to Marty? If I were him, I’d say, “Harumph, I speet ohn your semillon!” (Okay, where did that come from??)
I’ve drunk most of their lineup and all I can say is, these are all ‘oy-sheee’ wines, as the Japanese would say. Tonight’s a la carte menu was a dandy…I actually gave Panda Express another chance (WAwineman is so forgiving!) but only because I was too lazy to call T&T Seafood to place an order for their yummy fried rice. That, and orange chicken and some vegetable chicken combo along with Vietnamese banh uot (white, flat noodles with two slices of luncheon meat-lookalike and sprouts and parsley). All I can say is the wine enhanced every part of this meal. No surprise because L’Ecole is known for making the best 100% semillon in WA. No one does it better and for this long. And the Fries Desert Wind Vineyard is thee best site for semillon in WA. The food’s strengths were starchy for the noodles, vinegary for the sauce, and with Panda Express…just plain, hmmm, plain tasting for its so-called Chinese food. Recall, I hated on their food in another review…well, this just confirms the lack of substance (read: zest) in what they make. But, hey, it’s fast food! So, I deserve what I knew I was getting. Thank goodness this wine made this meal at least presentable and somewhat tasty. So if you want to know the state-of-the-art semillon in WA, then I heartily recommend this edition from L’Ecole No 41.
Alcohol: 14.4%. AVA: Wahluke Slope. 356 cases, bottled June 8, 2007. Harvested Sept. 9, 2006 at 25.7% Brix, pH 3.20, 0.66 grams/100ml acidity (?). 25% new French oak. Secondary malolactic fermentation. Aged 7 months with extended aging on the yeast lees.
Nose: apricot blossoms. Mouthfeel: light, with good tartness. Color: light, pale yellow. Tail trail: 3-4 seconds. Flavors of apricot and melon. Mmmmm…zesty! I’d drink a bottle and a half if I could.
Value: $20. This is WAwineman…uncorked, uneducated, but not uncouth.