L'Ecole 41 in FrenchtownWe hate to see the warm days of summer end, but there’s something special about the fall and harvest at the vineyards. Also at this time of year, L’Ecole bottles Frenchtown, the winery’s first red wine every vintage. It pays tribute to Walla Walla Valley’s first settlement of French Canadians in the early 1800s. L’Ecole’s historic schoolhouse is located in this area, and consequently named “school” in French. In addition, Frenchtown salutes France, by uniquely blending 79% Bordeaux grapes with 21% Rhone grapes. Read on for details.

The Frenchtown Story

French Canadians established Frenchtown as Walla Walla Valley’s first settlement in the early 1800s. Next, in the late 1860s, a thriving wine-making community launched in the valley. Therefore, L’Ecole honors these pioneers by crafting Frenchtown wine each year. Moreover, the quality of this entry-level wine is as appealing as its $22 price. For those of us who have been L’Ecole fans for decades, this wine was known as Recess Red until 2008.

Frenchtown Red Wine Columbia Valley 2019

Frenchtown red wine 2019Most importantly, Frenchtown combines France’s well-known varieties, Bordeaux grapes (79%) and Rhone grapes (21%). Specifically, this unique red blend comprises Merlot (45%), Cabernet Sauvignon (18%), Syrah (17%), Malbec (10%), Petit Verdot (6%) and Grenache (4%). As a result, this medium-bodied wine is harmonious and textured.

Aromas of red and black berries, cherries and plums lead into savory flavors of dark fruit, herbs, espresso and hints of spices, red and black licorice, and pepper. In other words, Frenchtown is an easy-drinking, every-day wine with bright fruit aromas and flavors.

Wine Enthusiast named it an Editor’s Choice at 91 points. Similarly, Wine Spectator and critic Jeb Dunnuck both gave it 90 points. Pretty good for a wine that costs only $22.

Above all, Frenchtown demonstrates the cross section of L’Ecole’s entire red wine program, and therefore a great indicator of what each vintage will reveal.


In conclusion, we highly recommend L’Ecole Frenchtown 2019 to welcome the fall season. At $22, this tasty red wine is a steal. Learn more and buy it on the winery’s website.

As mentioned in previous posts, we are collaborating with L’Ecole in a 2021 wine education program. So this beautiful 2019 Frenchtown is one of several wines we taste throughout the year. That is to say, L’Ecole offers dozens of varieties in their portfolio. For instance, the winery produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Bordeaux blends, Sémillon, Rosé and more. The full list of their wines is available at their website.

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Margot and Dave

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About Margot

Margot started writing about wine decades ago as a national journalist in Canada and the U.S. She and Dave created this website in 2007. Originally, the website introduced people to wines in Washington state, the second-largest wine region in the U.S. But over the years, the site expanded to feature other wine regions in the U.S., Canada, and in the world. If you like to read about standout wine and winery stories, then Write for Wine is for you.