Sunday, June 1, 2014

2011 L'Ecole No. 41 Ferguson

Well, a weekend of hard work has come to a close and it's time to relax with a nice glass of wine.  You see, this weekend was taken up with more than just the normal chores around the house, my Uncle Ron decided to visit, and at 77 years old, it's always an adventure with him!  So he made it home safe and now I think I've earned a nice glass of 2011 L'Ecole No. 41 Ferguson, a wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (57%), Merlot (32%) and Cabernet Franc (11%) from L'Ecole's newest vineyard which lies on a ridge overlooking the Walla Walla Valley which consists of a thin layer of soil over fractured basalt, which gives the wine some very interesting mineral characteristics.  I had a wonderful opportunity to barrel taste this wine last summer during the winery's 30th Anniversary celebration, so I'll be interested to know how the final product turned out!

The wine is a deep ruby in the glass with great clarity.  The nose is a vibrant blend of cut grass over a layer of ripe black fruit with just a hint of floral notes at the end.  The taste is quite nice, with some rich fruit up front, but not sweet or overpowering, this isn't a jammy wine, but a wine with sophistication and complexity in the fruit.  The fruit notes transition effortlessly to some dark chocolate and mineral notes of dusty limestone midpalate.  The finish is exceptionally dry, as the young but well structured tannins support the long dry finish that leaves you wanting more.  It's hard to believe, but I think this wine improved from what I remember last June!

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 9, as I think it has some great mineral characteristics and finesse that will likely improve over time, and although the price at $59 isn't cheap, I think it's well worth it.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a thick cut Hereford beef Kansas City cut NY Strip, grilled rare with some oven roasted Yukon gold potatoes and steamed asparagus, a perfect Sunday dinner in my house!  The mineral notes in this wine are the perfect foil to spiced potatoes and a rich cut of beef, cheers!

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