2005 L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Merlot

SKU #1037634

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.

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Price: $29.99
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- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.