Oh, happy Sunday! I finished all of my chores, so many (whoever thought you'd have more chores as an adult than you ever had as a child?), I mowed, I planted, I changed the filters on the furnace, but now I'm done and ready for a break. And what better break than to open a bottle of wine from one of my longtime favorite Washington producers, L'Ecole No. 41. Tonight it's the 2013 Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%), Malbec (15%) and Cabernet Franc (5%) from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla.
The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass, the sort of color that raises your expectations of the wine. The nose presents lovely aromas of candied fruit, leather and anise. The taste is a rush of fruit up front, cherry, blackberry and cassis that transitions without a moments hesitation to some notes of cherry cola, tobacco and a bit of coarse minerality midpalate. The finish is just wonderful, with young, yet well developed tannins supporting the long, voluptuous and very dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.
Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, I've always thought the Apogee was the less pleasurable of the Apogee/Perigee blends from L'Ecole, but this vintage is starting to win me over. This is an ideal red meat wine, and of course I'm enjoying this one first on the patio by itself, but soon it will accompany a rare grilled Angus porterhouse with some grilled organic rainbow carrots and some haricots verts almondine. Cheers!