2005 L'Ecole No. 41 "Apogee" Pepper Bridge Vineyard Walla Walla Valley

SKU #1036257

93 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard is 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 7% Malbec, and 3% Cabernet Franc. Saturated purple-colored, it has a slightly brooding nose of pain grille, pencil lead, spice box, and assorted black fruits. It is the most structured of the L’Ecole reds with darker fruit and greater aging potential. Drink this superb effort between 2015 and 2030." (June 2008) 90 points from Wine Enthusiast: "L’Ecole’s Pepper Bridge vineyard-based, proprietary Bordeaux red is divided equally between Merlot (45%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (45%), with Cab Franc and Malbec making up the rest. Right now this is a wine that is still rough and coming together; a jumble of jagged tannins, streaks of herb and mushroom, stitched around tart and spicy fruits and a splash of toast and coffee." (5/1/2008) A blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 45% merlot, 7% malbec and 3% cabernet franc from Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Washington's Walla Walla Valley appellation. This was the first wine created from the vineyard, showing the site's characteristic cookie spice aromas, highlighted by notes of earthy-sweet tobacco and leather on the nose. The palate is packed with concentrated dark fruit, chocolate and eucalyptus and is richly structured with fine-grained tannins. The word "apogee" refers to when the moon is at the greatest distance from earth—it is used in this wine to refer to trying to reach the ultimate quality wine.

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Price: $49.99

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- 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.