L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Ferguson Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley
Item Number: 13028
Sub Region: Columbia Valley
Appellation/AVA: Walla Walla Valley
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Vineyard Designation: Ferguson Vineyard
Grape(s): 62% Cabernet Sauvignon / 26% Merlot / 6% Cabernet Franc / 6% Malbec
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Total Acidity: 7.2 g/L
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."