L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Merlot, Columbia Valley

L'Ecole No. 41 2016 Merlot, Columbia Valley

Item Number: 13056

UPC: 0-721354890030

Country: USA
Region: Washington
Sub Region: Columbia Valley
Appellation/AVA: Columbia Valley
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2016
Grape(s): 78% Merlot / 16% Cabernet Franc / 3% Perit Verdot / 3% Petit Verdot
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Total Acidity: 6.8 g/L
pH: 3.62
Case Production: 4,600

L’Ecole No 41 is recognized as one of Washington State’s top producers of premium Merlot and this wine delivers with great structure, color and balanced acidity

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 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 oak barrels, 30% new, with four rackings over 18 months.

Tasting Notes: Layered with enticing aromas of black cherry, rose petal, and plum, this full bodied yet balanced Merlot shows layers of baking spices and cocoa with a seamless finish of fine-grained tannin.


  • Jeb Dunnuck
    Rating: 90 (4/11/2019)

    The 2016 Merlot checks in as a blend of 78% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, and 3% each of Malbec and Petit Verdot. It's a charmer from this team that has loads of fruit and richness as well as balance, and offers lovely dark fruits and leafy herb aromas and flavors. With no hard edges and a great finish, it's a smoking value to drink over the coming 7-8 years.
  • The Wine Spectator
    Rating: 89 (7/31/2019)

    Offers a lively structure, with black cherry, tarragon and toasted spice flavors that build tension toward a slight bite of tannins. Best from 2020 through 2026.
  • Vinous
    Rating: 89 (12/3/2019)

    Cool aromas of plum, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf and licorice, plus a faint weedy quality; very Merlot! A step up in texture from the 2017 Frenchtown Red, conveying a slightly smoky character and a distinctly cool edge to its flavors of berries, plum, licorice and graphite. Ripe acidity nicely frames the middle palate. Finishes with substantial dusty tannins and good savory length. Almost 30% of this wine came from Seven Hills, as nowadays more of the Ferguson Merlot is going into L'Ecole's Estate Merlot bottling.
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 88 (5/21/2020)

    A blend of 78% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc and 3% each of Petit Verdot and Malbec, the 2016 Columbia Valley Merlot begins with the tart red fruit on the nose, with a dusty floral essence. Medium-bodied, the wine is uncomplicated on the palate, with still-grippy tannins at the moment and straightforward, lingering finish. Enjoy it over the next four years.