2014 L'Ecole No. 41 "Ferguson Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1335141 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 My favorite of the three special cuvees, the 2014 Ferguson checks in as a blend of 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc and 6% Malbec. It knocks it out of the park with its dark, savory, mineral-laced fruit and is full-bodied, deep, rich and concentrated on the palate. This beautiful wine has building structure and ripe tannin, and it’s going to have two decades or more of longevity.

93 points Vinous

 (93+) Bright medium ruby. Rich, complex scents of blackcurrant, minerals, chocolate, wild herbs, cedar, tobacco and smoky oak. Fat and sweet but juicy too, showing lovely mineral energy to the dark fruit and tobacco flavors. A floral component adds lift and dimension to the wine. Dusty noble tannins reach the front teeth. This is still a baby but is not at all austere even today. Clubb noted that winemaker Mike Sharon is especially gentle with this wine as it's very easy to overextract.

91 points Wine & Spirits

 A young wine from a warm vintage, this blend focuses on cabernet sauvignon (56 percent) and merlot from L’Ecole’s dramatic planting above Seven Hills, a parcel of the Sevein project. It’s dark and brooding, overlaid with scents of cedar and clove. With air the wine’s frame comes into view, firm and tannic, as if the grape skins had been whipped by the wind. The structure is moored to dark, basaltic, mineral tannins. Impressive, and nowhere near ready to drink.

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Ferguson is L’Ecole No 41’s newest single vineyard estate Bordeaux blend from the Walla Walla Valley. Ferguson’s flavor profile is distinctly influenced by its basalt soil. This wine offers complex aromas of espresso, tobacco, and dark fruit with flint and graphite minerality. Intricate layers in the mid-palate are balanced with natural acidity leading to a robust and lingering finish. In the tradition of "Perigee" Seven Hills Vineyard and "Apogee" Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Ferguson reflects a unique micro-climate and geological profile. This wine shares its name with our newest estate vineyard, also called Ferguson, of which L’Ecole is the sole wine producer. Ferguson Vineyard is a stunning, high elevation site overlooking a panoramic view of the Walla Walla Valley. With 30 acres planted, vines are rooted in fractured basalt rock from 15-million-year-old ancient lava flows overlaid with a thin layer of wind-blown, glacial loess."

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Price: $58.95

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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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5