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 Vintage2004 Label 1 of 13 
ProducerL'Ecole No. 41 (web)
SubRegionColumbia Valley
AppellationColumbia Valley
OptionsShow variety and appellation
UPC Code(s)721354890030

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2008 and 2012 (based on 3 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See L`Ecole No. 41 Merlot on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 89.3 pts. and median of 89 pts. in 35 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by johnnyo on 12/25/2013 & rated 92 points: Drinking great out of the magnum. Classic Washington Merlot, lots of red and black fruit, structure with ample acidity. Very nice. (828 views)
 Tasted by boylerz1 on 12/16/2012 & rated 88 points: Dryer than I remembered from previous tastings. Nice nose. Palate of leather and soil. Much shorter finish than I was expecting. (1399 views)
 Tasted by tenor12bucks on 4/21/2012 & rated 91 points: Really nice. A full perfume of bright red, jammy fruit with a subtle undertone of earth and a touch of cinnamon/spice that add complexity. Body is medium to full. Bright, tart plums abound on the palate, giving way to a long finish with notes of leather, baking spice and mineral. A terrific wine and I'm glad I held on to it this long. Great QPR at $25. (1781 views)
 Tasted by Rodenbach99 on 10/31/2010 & rated 84 points: De la Columbia Valley, dans l'état de Washington, cet assemblage majoritairement composé de merlot à 80% a bien vieilli depuis la première fois que je l'ai bu il y a déjà 3 ans. La robe est cristalline d'un rubis très claire. L'orange, couleur de l'âge, commence à se pointer le bout du nez. Parlant de nez, il est frais, il sent les petits fruits rouges. Avec le temps le nez offrait des arômes de chocolat noir et de prune. En bouche les tanins sont bien fondus malgré une impression de sécheresse en fin de bouche. Il donne aussi l'impression d'avoir quelque peu des saveurs de réduction. Ce vin a connue une vie heureuse mais il a maintenant commencé son déclin. Il est trop vieux à mon goût. (2261 views)
 Tasted by mulder on 5/17/2010 & rated 92 points: Wow...this impressed me tonight, had it with a nice aged New-York from Owen's Meats. The nose of bing cherries, sweet blackberries, plums and a hint of vanilla. The palate had good acidity and tannins with plum, tart cherry, mocha, and boysenberry pie. Washington merlot behaving somewhat like a cabernet...not untypical. (2362 views)
 Tasted by GA_Seattle on 5/30/2009 & rated 88 points: Ripe red fruit, luscious mouthfeel, finish lasts for 25 seconds. (1461 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 10/13/2008 & rated 91 points: decanted for approx 1 hr. Nose - red fruits, toast
mouth - complex red fruit basket (1806 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 8/24/2008 & rated 92 points: Excellent, good fruit, good acidity from beginning to end, had with BBQ'd lamp chops, oustanding match, beautiful nose and flavor from the very beginning, was careful to keep at the proper temperature, was delicious 3 hours later, seem to grow in body at the 2-3 hour mark. This vintage is substantially better than the previous bottles we have had in the last 12 months. (1698 views)
 Tasted by dcoplan on 6/29/2008 & rated 91 points: After letting it breathe a good long time I inhaled great smells of caramel, chocolate, cherry - pleasantly surprising. A small punch of alcohol cleared my nasal passages. Smooth texture, but not too smooth as it had a little bite on the end. The characteristics of the smell held through in the aftertaste which carried with it a touch of bitterness. As I tasted this wine I imagined bunches of red grapes soaking in a wooden cask spiked with alcohol and caramel. Great character out of this bottle. (1740 views)
 Tasted by Wino Joe on 6/14/2008 & rated 90 points: Deep garnet color. Nose of blackberry, cassis and florals. Blackberry, black cherry, vanilla, herbs and green pepper wrapped in cedar and grain leather tannins. Long finish. (1809 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 6/9/2008 & rated 88 points: nose - rich mocha, oaky
mouth - fruit reduction, good midpalate, long finish, good acidity. well structured
the afterflavors is mostly toasty. I thinks its a touch overoaked, yet not objectionable
The wine score points on its technical prowess but i think the fruit falls a tad short. (1890 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 3/22/2008 & rated 85 points: tried the '04 cab, '04 merlot, and '05 recess red , all blinded, simultaneously. Blinded is when your true colors show through. I completely misindentified everything based on nose, and when told I had struck out, tasted them all, changed my bets around, and fully struck out a second time. Perhaps that is an indicator of how much stock you you put in my commentary. I found the nose to be devoid of fruit, and somehat leathery with suggestion of olive. Nice dark fruits in the mouth with pretty decent tannins. Seems to lack the excitement I found in previous bottles of this bottling & vintage (none of which, incidentally, were blinded) (2035 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 3/2/2008 & rated 92 points: Right bank Bordeaux blend (80% Merlot, 12% CabFranc, 6% CabSauv, 2% PetitVerdot).
Nose- dark fruit (blackberry, boysenberry), purple ink pen. Strong fruity nose
Mouth - great fruit but also good strcuture. There are some tannins in there which give this wine a few years of life. Nice finish. I'll have to pick up another bottle or two to store away. Yummy stuff. (2209 views)
 Tasted by polimeri on 2/17/2008 & rated 90 points: Very surprising bottle. I have had this bottle for a while now. I was expecting another shitty Merlot, but this one turned my head. I had one glass on the first night and it was a little tight with a pop and pour. There were black cherries, vanilla, and a hint of green veggies. Night 2 it really opened up. I read the back of the bottle and figured out why I was so confused with the flavors...Right bank Merlot new world style. Quite nice job. My wife and I really enjoyed this one. The oak is present but not overly so. Black fruits...espresso...hint of pencil lead on the finish. I will pick up a few more bottles of this one. (2209 views)
 Tasted by *Vine* on 2/7/2008 & rated 89 points: Popped and poured. Dark purple/ruby. Complex nose of sour cherry, blueberry, current, olive tapenade, vegetal/herbaceous aromas, with hints of iron, menthol and game. Medium bodied. Palate mirrors the nose plus oak and dill flavors. Nice acidic backbone and grippy tannins coat the mouth with every sip (possibly due to the the fact this contains 12% Cab Franc). Long, complex finish. With air the meaty aromas develop even further, almost Northern Rhone/Syrah like in this regard. Rustic in a good way.
This is a nice Merlot that is clearly going to improve with 1-2 years in the cellar. (1982 views)
 Tasted by TLHWG on 12/20/2007 & rated 87 points: Well made wine with no obvious flaws but given the hype of this Washington vineyard I was somewhat disappointed with this Merlot. I'll give L'Ecole another chance though and try another of their reds sometime.

Wouldn't buy again. (2695 views)
 Tasted by GalvezGuy on 10/31/2007 & rated 89 points: Had with dinner at Matt's in Redmond. Plum, black cherry, and mocha on a very pleasant nose. Plum, red currant and mocha on the palate. Finishes short with soft tannins. Excellent little Merlot. I would have liked a little more complexity, but the value here is acceptable. (2480 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 9/23/2007: It has a distinctive and unusual smell which I cant quite pinpoint (my best approximation would be salt water taffy). Seems to have improved overnight. (2649 views)
 Tasted by soyhead on 9/5/2007 & rated 90 points: Dark cherry on the nose, smooth tannins, “good midpalate” – first time I believe that I am using this terminology. (2550 views)
 Tasted by dbarco on 6/12/2007 & rated 90 points: Bold yet bright. Medium to full body, lots of currant, cherry, and some darker fruit with an earthiness and spiciness that makes it interesting. Moderately long finish with a leathery turn that is pleasant and interesting. Moderate tannins. Ready to drink now - see nothing to gain from waiting. (2534 views)
 Tasted by Mike Bates on 1/15/2007 & rated 89 points: A very nice Merlot from one of my favorite wineries. Lots of blackberry and cherry, good oak to it. Very well balanced with good structure to it. Almost reminds me of an old world style wine. (2616 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, November/December 2006, IWC Issue #129
(l'Ecole No.41 Merlot Columbia Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous. (manage subscription channels)

CellarTracker Wiki Articles (login to edit | view all articles)

L'Ecole No. 41

Producer website


Merlot variety: Wikipedia | Appellation America | CellarNotes


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


Washington Wine Commission | Credit to Washingtonwine.org for this article

Washington Wine
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

With 30,000+ acres planted, the state has ideal geography and conditions for growing premium vinifera wine grapes. Primarily grown on their own root stocks, the vines produce grapes of consistent quality, resulting in strong vintages year after year. While its focus is on Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, the region also produces a wide range of other spectacular whites and reds.

Winemakers from all over the world have chosen to establish themselves in Washington, where they can create wines reflecting this region's unique characteristics. Their hand-crafted wines are receiving wide acclaim from critics regionally, nationally and internationally for their consistently high quality. Many of them have received scores of 90 and above from the major wine media. Overall this is a higher percentage than other leading wine regions.

As the state's fourth largest fruit crop, the Washington wine industry is an important contributor to the long-term preservation of Washington agriculture. The industry is committed to sustainable agricultural practices and conservation of water resources.
Washington State is a premium wine producing region located in the northwest corner of the United States. Although a relatively young wine industry, it is now the nation's second largest wine producer and is ranked among the world's top wine regions. Washington wines are found nationally in all 50 states and internationally in more than 40 countries.

Washington produces more than 20 wine grape varieties - a ratio of 56 percent white to 44 percent red. As the industry matures and experiments, it finds many grape varieties that thrive throughout Washington's microclimates. There are more than 16,000 vineyard acres of red wine varieties statewide.

History & Vintages
Washington's wine future is limitless. As consumers discover the quality of Washington wines, demand continues to grow nationally and internationally. New acreage and wine varietals are being planted and new wineries are opening at a remarkable pace. Washington State is recognized as a premium viticultural region around the world.

State Facts
Washington's wine industry generates more than $3 billion to the state economy. It employs more than 14,000 people, directly and indirectly, with projections to add nearly 2,000 more jobs by 2006. In terms of tax revenues accrued to the state and federal government, wine grapes are among the highest tax generators of any agricultural crops. Furthermore, Washington wine tourism attracts nearly two million visitors annually contributing to the positive growth of local and regional economies.

Washington State - the perfect climate for wine = ideal growing conditions, quality wines, business innovation, lifestyle, and social responsibility. All are key elements of this world-class wine industry.

Columbia Valley

Columbia Cascade Winery Association

The Columbia Valley AVA lies mostly in Washington state, with a small section in Oregon. The Cascade Range forms its western boundary with the Palouse regions bordering the area to the east. To the north, the Okanogan National Forest forms a border with the AVA and Canada. It encompasses the valleys formed by the Columbia River and its tributaries, including the Walla Walla River, the Snake River, and the Yakima River. The Columbia valley stretches between the 46th parallel and 47th parallel which puts it in line with the well known French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The northern latitude gives the areas two more hours of additional daylight during the summer growing season than wine regions of California receive. The volcanic and sandy loam soil of the valley offers good drainage and is poor in nutrients, ideal in forcing the vine to concentrate its resources into the grape clusters.

Columbia Valley

Columbia Valley Winery Association

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