2006 L'Ecole No. 41 "Apogee" Pepper Bridge Vineyard Walla Walla Valley

SKU #1052488

94 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2006 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard is 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Merlot, 8% Malbec, and 4% Cabernet Franc. A saturated purple color, it has a brooding nose of sandalwood, pencil lead, spice box, and assorted black fruits. It is the most concentrated, complex, and intense of the L'Ecole reds with darker, layered fruit and greater aging potential. Drink this superb effort between 2015 and 2031." (10/09) 93 points from Wine & Spirits Magazine: "Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (46 percent), Merlot (42), Malbec and Cabernet Franc, shows little at first-Pepper Bridge always takes its time. After a few minutes in the glass, a savory brown-bread spice and pipe tobacco scent emerges, along with a taut core of black fig. While youthfully reticent, this is a formidable wine, balanced, composed, poised, just waiting for its moment. Cellar a year and serve with roast lamb." (10/09) 91 points from Wine Spectator: "Dark and distinctive, hanging its ripe plum, currant and cherry fruit on a rangy, wide-open frame that lets the flavors mingle with hints of olive and pepper as the finish rolls on easily. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Drink now through 2014. 1,748 cases made." (Oct.15, 2009)

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Price: $49.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

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.