L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Ferguson Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Ferguson Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

Item Number: 13028

UPC: 0-721354201317

Country: USA
Region: Washington
Sub Region: Columbia Valley
Appellation/AVA: Walla Walla Valley
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Ferguson Vineyard
Vintage: 2016
Grape(s): 62% Cabernet Sauvignon / 26% Merlot / 6% Cabernet Franc / 6% Malbec
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Total Acidity: 7.2 g/L
pH: 3.65
Soil Type: Basalt, iron-rich red clay, glacial loess
Case Production: 1,320

Vineyard Notes: Ferguson is L’Ecole No 41’s newest single vineyard estate Bordeaux blend from the Walla Walla Valley. The 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-millionyear-old ancient lava flows overlaid with a thin layer of wind-blown, glacial loess. The vineyard is Certified Sustainable and Certified Salmon Safe.

Vintage Notes: The 2016 vintage looks like another spectacular and large harvest for Washington State; it started early with a mild winter, hot spring, and early bud break, suggesting another warm year was on the way. Moderate June weather was ideal for bloom and fruit set. The following July temperatures were lower than normal, allowing for healthy berry and cluster growth. Walla Walla say Continued mild weather through August and September that stretched the growing season, allowing the fruit to ripen gradually and evenly, with lower sugars and higher acidity. The longer hang-time produced fantastic balance of flavor and structure in both the white and red varieties.

Winemaking Notes: Each lot was hand harvested ripe and gently crushed into 1.5 and 5 ton open-topped stainless steel fermenters. Gentle handling of the fruit through hand punch downs and gravity assisted movements were utilized throughout the entire winemaking process. The wine was cleanly racked to 100% small French oak barrels, 50% new, with five rackings over 22 months.

Tasting Notes: Ferguson’s flavor profile is distinctly influenced by its volcanic basalt soil. This wine offers complex aromas of espresso, tobacco, and dark mineral –laced fruit. Wild blackberries and dusty tannins integrate with flavors of flint and graphite on the palate. Concentrated natural acidity leads to a robust and lingering finish.

95pts (2017 Vintage) Jeb Dunnuck 4/15/2020
"I loved the 2017 Ferguson Estate Ferguson Vineyard. This beauty is complex and nuanced, with stunning notes of crème de cassis, unsmoked tobacco, graphite, and crushed rocks. Rich, full-bodied, and concentrated, with good acidity and loads of structure, it's a balanced, beautiful wine that needs 4-5 years of bottle age and will evolve for over two decades."


  • Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 95 (4/11/2019)

    Incorporating the most Cabernet Sauvignon of the three top tier releases, the 2016 Estate Ferguson Ferguson Vineyard is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, and the balance Cabernet Franc and Malbec, all aged in 50% new barrels. It's a full-bodied, powerful wine that has a distinct salinity and a marine-like note in its red and black fruits, spice, crushed rocks, and cedar aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, concentrated, and structured, it nevertheless has the charming, balanced, layered style of the vintage front and center. It too has good acidity and is going to benefit from 3-4 years of bottle age.
  • Vinous
    Rating: 95 (12/3/2019)

    Aromas of blackberry, dark chocolate, musky tobacco and pungent minerality are lifted by a floral note, plus a hint of brown spices that may come from some iron in the soil (basalt decays into clay, notes Clubb, and here the clay is red and rich in iron). Boasts lovely inner-mouth sweetness and silkiness of texture, with its purple and black fruit flavors lifted by spices and showing a superb light touch. Perhaps most impressive on the wonderfully spreading back end, where the suave tannins are totally buffered by the wine's mid-palate material (Clubb does a gentler extraction for this fruit, as the berries are tiny and thick-skinned, and typically come in with the highest natural acidity of any of the winery's sites in Walla Walla Valley.)
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 90 (5/21/2020)

    The 2016 Ferguson Vineyard is a blend of 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot and 6% each of Cabernet Franc and Malbec. Beginning with dark blackberry tones with slightly tart red plum on the nose, the wine has aromas of dusty bell pepper and cherry blossom in the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has a tannic grip upfront with tart red fruit flavors that sway with notions of oak and finesse before lingering with a focused and complex finish. Give this one more year in bottle before popping. It’s a lovely wine and will last for a decade, on.