It's hump day and boy can I use a nice glass of wine with dinner! And since it's Merlot month, why not open a bottle of my favorite under-appreciated varietal? Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2012 L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Valley Merlot, which is actually a blend of Merlot (80%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and Cabernet Franc (10%) from the Seven Hills and Ferguson estates.
The wine is a beautiful ruby color in the glass with great clarity. The nose presents aromas of ripe dark fruit, green grass and coffee. The taste is as smooth as it gets, with some subdued fruit notes up front that quickly give way to some smoky notes and cherry cola. The earthy mineral notes of basalt really come through midpalate, surely the influence of the estate Ferguson fruit. The tannins are vibrant, making a nice combination with the earthy minerality on the long, smooth and very dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, and it was a very nice value even at the full retail price of $36. Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a perfect mid-week dinner of a petite porterhouse (yes there is such a thing in my world!) along with some grilled asparagus and sweet potato mash, what a perfect way to end an Autumn evening! Cheers!