Happy Cellar Saturday! It's the first Saturday of the new month and new year, and that means it's time to raid the cellar for something interesting to open! Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2000 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee, a blend of Merlot (60%), Cabernet Sauvignon (34%) and Cabernet Franc (6%) from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla. Now I haven't had this one in the cellar for too long, as I think I picked it up when I was in Walla Walla last summer, but in any case here goes nothing!
I let the wine decant for about 90 minutes before pouring. The wine is a nice ruby color in the glass, with just a bit of opacity. The nose presents aromas of leather, blackberry, plum and a hint of forest floor. The taste presents surprising flavors of cherry cola up front that transitions nicely to some notes of mocha, nutmeg and baking spice midpalate. The finish if beautiful, with mellow tannins and a reprise of some earthy spice for the long, smooth and exceptionally dry finish.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, it's just a beautiful and mature expression of the lovely Bordeaux-style blends the Walla Walla Valley is famous for. Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic pairing of a rare grilled Angus New York Strip with grilled leeks, a loaded backed potato and some steamed broccoli. The richness of the fruit and spice in this wine are a perfect complement to such a hearty meal. Cheers!