2005 L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Merlot
91 points from Wine Enthusiast Magazine: "Beautifully dark and plummy, with smoky, opulent fruit. Though full and fleshy, it has complex layering—it’s not just a fruit bomb. Berries and spice, chocolate and herb work in sync, creating a complete, rich and toasty wine with excellent depth." (5/1/2008) 90 points from Wine Spectator: "Bright and distinctive, offering red cherry and currant flavors that just won't quit as this lean, lithe wine zings across the palate. Finishes with silky texture. Drink now through 2012. 6,082 cases made." (May 15, 2008) Blending fruit from a variety of premium Columba Valley vineyard sites and small quantities of cabernet franc, petit verdot and cabernet sauvignon, allows the 2005 L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Merlot to a lovely level of complexity. Aged in 40% new small oak barrels, oak spice aromas of nutmeg, clove and cinnamon reach your nose first, but the red cherry, black plum and blackberry fruit aromas are not far behind. In the mouth the prominent dark fruit is paired with black peppery spice and chocolate framed by supple tannins.