2018 L’Ecole No. 41, Perigee, Estate Seven Hills Vineyard, $57
Winery Info: The third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley, L’Ecole No. 41 was founded in 1983 by Jean and Baker Ferguson.
Their daughter and son-in-law, Megan and Marty Clubb represent the second generation to oversee this highly-acclaimed Washington winery, and they continue to produce ultra premium, distinctive wines that reflect the terroir of their Walla Walla estate vineyards, Ferguson and Seven Hills, both certified sustainably farmed.
Winemaker: Mike Sharon, L’Ecole winemaker since 1996. (Marcus Rafanelli took over in late 2019.)
Grapes: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, and 9% Malbec, aged 22 months in French oak barrels, 40% new.
Vineyard: Sourced from the oldest and most distinguished blocks of Seven Hills vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, originally planted in 1981. L’Ecole is a partner in this vineyard, which is planted on mineral-rich soils with windblown loess. Seven Hills has been recognized as one of the Ten Great Vineyards of the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine.
Flavor Profile: Perigee is crafted to epitomize the vineyard’s character, with its flavors of cassis, dark fruit, a touch of herbs, and a balanced hint of oak. The wine is smooth, velvety, and utterly elegant, with great depth and a long, silky finish.
Availability: 1,200 cases produced. It is still in decent supply at the moment.
Drinking Window: Give it a bit of time to fully open up, and enjoy anytime, now thru 2028.
Food Pairing: Perfect for hearty meat dishes, from gourmet burgers to rib eye or filet mignon.
2016 T2 Cellar, Red Willow Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon, $32
Winery Info: T2 was founded by Todd Threlkeld and Anne Stevens, our neighbors, long-time customers, and club members themselves. Todd and Anne trained in the wine production program at the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College, where Todd also worked as Cellarmaster. They began making wine in 2011 and have since garnered multiple awards for their wines. Todd and Anne partner with outstanding vineyards in eastern Washington to produce wines that, “through moderate intervention, showcase this state’s outstanding viticulture.”
Winemakers: Todd Threlkeld and Anne Stevens
Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 26 months in 25% new French oak.
Vineyards: From two rows in the Marcoux block of Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA. It is one of the oldest vineyards in the state, with unique ancient soils. The large diurnal temperature shifts from cool winds blowing off the eastern slopes of the Cascades, allows the fruit to develop good acidity.
Flavor Profile: The extra aging in this reserve-level Cab added refined structure and elegance. It is a rich, very balanced wine, with dark fruit flavors and lovely texture.
Availability: Todd produced 48 cases of this wine and there are just a few cases left.
Drinking Window: Having aged two and a half years in their cellar, it is in its prime drinking window now, but it could also develop another few years.
Food Pairing: Todd and Anne say that this is a very red meat friendly Cabernet.