2005 L'Ecole No. 41 "Perigee" Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley

SKU #1036258

92 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2005 Perigee Seven Hills Vineyard is 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc aged in 50% new oak. Dark ruby/purple-colored, it has an alluring perfume of violets, wood smoke, spice box, black currant and blackberry liqueur. Elegant and seamless on the palate, it has superb depth, concentration, and spicy, savory flavors. Give it 4-6 years and drink it from 2012 to 2025." (June 2008) 91 points and a "Cellar Selection" from Wine Enthusiast: "From the oldest vines in the Seven Hills vineyard, this is lush and thick in the mouth. A power-packed, evocative Bordeaux blend, it features tightly knit and layered black fruits, augmented with subtle barrel flavors, earth and herb. The balance is beautifully managed; firm acids balance out the still-chewy tannins, and hints of pepper and herb add just the right spicy highlights." (5/1/2008) 91 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Good deep red-ruby. Enticing nose offers redcurrant, cherry, cedar, loam, mocha and nutty oak. Quite suave and silky in the mouth, with appealing, perfumed flavors of berries and spices. Plenty of early sex appeal here. Finishes with substantial broad, dusty tannins and excellent subtle length. I've been tasting the L'Ecole wines annually for a long time, and I can't recall a classier set of releases from this producer than this year's." (Nov/Dec "08)

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Price: $44.99
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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.


- 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.