L’Ecole 41 is a third-generation, family-owned artisan winery. Most importantly, it is one of the most honored wineries in Washington state, and has generated national and international accolades over the years for producing superior quality wines. We’ve been fans of L’Ecole since we moved to Washington in 1999. As a result, we frequently visit their historic schoolhouse in Walla Walla, and know their talented winemakers Marty Clubb and Marcus Rafanelli, and their amazing wines. So, we were delighted to sample six L’Ecole 2023 releases. Once again, L’Ecole scored. These are the impressive wines we tasted: 2020 Ferguson Estate, 40th Anniversary Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc-Merlot; 2021 Sémillon, and 2022 Grenache Rosé.
Wow, we haven’t opened this much wine in months, since way before my knee surgery. But it was our anniversary wine celebration – and these three bottles were excellent choices. In honor of BC wine month, we began with 2019 Tantalus Blanc de Blancs, a simply stunning sparkler of 100% Chardonnay with fine bubbles, bright acidity and salinity. Next came 2018 Liminal High Canyon Syrah, WeatherEye Vineyard. This impressive 100% Syrah is a silky, smooth special-occasion wine. And to round out the night, Two Vintners 2019 Oliver, which includes 70% Grenache from WeatherEye Vineyard, along with 20% Syrah, and 5% each of Petite Sirah and Cinsault. What a cool blend. Oh, what a night!
For two decades, we have called Taste Washington “the Super Bowl of Wine Events.” It’s the country’s largest single-region wine and food extravaganza, and returned March 6-13 in Seattle after a three-year break because of the pandemic. We went to the Grand Tasting, and had an epic time connecting with some incredible winemakers, and tasting their new releases.