Sunday, January 15, 2017

2012 L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Sunday!  I must admit, it's been a very relaxing day for me, after church I came home and cleaned up some branches around my yard, then I reconciled my checkbook (I know I'm a wild man!) and then I went to the gym.  Now I've opened a bottle of wine as I get ready to make dinner, and tonight it's the 2012 L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvgnon, a 100% Cabernet from a number of different vineyards in the Walla Walla AVA, so let's see how this one tastes!

The wine is a deep, inky black at the center with bright garnet along the edges.  The nose is a pleasant combination of ripe blackberry and cherry intermingled with some cedar and smoke with just a hint of rose petals lurking in the background.  The taste is rich and vibrant, with a rush of ripe fruit up front that easily subsides to reveal some wonderful notes of dark chocolate and mocha.  The tannins, though young, are well structured and flawlessly integrated to create a long, smooth and perfectly dry finish that leaves you wanting more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, as it's just an exceptional, old school Walla Walla Cabernet that's drinking nicely now, but is sure to improve with some time in the cellar.  I'd be happy to just sip this wine all night, but there is dinner you know, and tonight I'm pairing this with a rare grilled steak, baked potato with all the fixin's, grilled leeks and steamed sugar snap peas.  Cheers!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2009 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee

Happy Saturday!  I was running errands all day today, you know, all the dumb stuff, like getting a haircut, getting new eyeglasses, grocery shopping, running to the bank, so much running!  So tonight I am relaxing with a nice dinner and a good bottle of wine.  Tonight I've decided to open a wine I've had sitting in the cellar for four or five years, the 2009 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (30%), Malbec (7%) and Cabernet Franc (3%) all from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.  So let's see if this wine is as great as I think it could be!

The wine is an inky black color at the center, with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is a lovely expression of earthy brilliance and lovely ripe fruit, with aromas of leather, blackberry, plum and cassis and a bit of smoke lingering over the top.  The taste is divine, with a rush of ripe black fruit up front, blackberry, plum and black currant that transitions nicely to some wonderfully peppery spice notes midpalate.  The tannins are mature and very well integrated, leading to a long, smooth, voluptuous finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, I've said before that I prefer L'Ecole's Perigee to the Apogee, but this one is about to change my thinking!  This wine is a perfect big steak wine, which is good since tonight I'm enjoying it with a thick, rare grilled prime ribcap steak from Costco (thank you errands!) with a baked potato with sour cream and chives and some steamed orange cauliflower (let's see if it's still the "in" veggie for 2017!).  Cheers!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

2012 Flegenheimer Bros. Reserve Red Wine

Happy Sunday!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of wine that my boss gave me last year, and although I really liked it for the label, soon after reading the label I was hopelessly confused!  The 2012 Flegenheimer Bros. Reserve Red Wine has a label that exudes late 19th century Americana, complete with American flags and shield, a lovely lady holding up a glass of wine seated next to some wine barrels, but this particular wine is made from Shiraz (85%) and Petite Sirah grown in the McLaren Vale of South Australia!  Hence you can see my confusion.  As it turns out, the family history of the winemaker goes back to a wine import and distribution business that was established in New York City back in 1876 which thrived until prohibition.  The family is now in Australia making wine, and the reserve red was paired with an old trade card that dates back to 1890.  So there we have it, wine and history, a fabulous combination, now let's see how the wine tastes!

The wine is a very deep, inky indigo color in the glass, much darker than many mass market Shiraz.  The nose is a pleasant combination of ripe black fruit, blackberry, cherry and plum interlaced with some earthy notes of leather and clay.  The taste is wonderfully fruit forward, with a rush of jammy black fruit at the outset that transitions smoothly to some spice notes midpalate.  The finish is nice, though rather brief, with a lingering of ripe fruit with some tart cherry notes as well.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it's a very pleasant and easy drinking wine.  It would pair well with lamb, roasts or wild game, or just as a pleasant sipping wine to enjoy in the evening as I am doing tonight.  Cheers!