L'Ecole No. 41 2017 'Frenchtown' Red Wine, Columbia Valley

L'Ecole No. 41 2017 'Frenchtown' Red Wine, Columbia Valley

Item Number: 13623

UPC: 0-721354850034

Country: USA
Region: Washington
Sub Region: Columbia Valley
Appellation/AVA: Columbia Valley
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2017
Grape(s): 31% Merlot / 28% Cabernet Sauvignon / 25% Syrah / 9% Grenache / 4% Cabernet Franc / 3% Malbec
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Total Acidity: 6.0 g/L
pH: 3.75
Case Production: 4,480

Frenchtown, Walla Walla Valley’s first settlement, was founded by French Canadians in the early 1800s. A thriving viticulture and wine making community was established in the Valley by the 1860s. This Frenchtown wine salutes these pioneers. With the highest quality in mind, this blend offers exceptional value for its price.

Vintage Notes: The 2017 vintage was moderate in heat units and produced spectacular quality and balance normally associated with such seasonal conditions. A cool, wet spring delayed bud break until early April creating some challenges in managing mildew and insect pressures, but also allowing the vines to fully recover from a hard prior winter. Bloom occurred in early June in line with the long-term average. July and early August were slightly warmer than normal suppressing berry growth and yields. Late September was cooler than normal and this combined stall in fruit maturation pushed most of grape harvest into October. A beautiful Indian summer October brought in plentiful sunshine, warm days, and cool night temperatures producing an ideal balance of flavor development, acid retention, and mineral notes in the majority of wines. A near-perfect vintage in the door.

Winemaking Notes: The wine was aged 9 months in primarily neutral French and American oak barrels, then bottle aged 6 additional months prior to release.

Tasting Notes: Frenchtown shows aromas of wild berries, red cherry, and savory notes of dried sage and thyme. The generous, dark fruit flavors remain focused through an integrated finish.


  • Vinous
    Rating: 88 (12/3/2019)

    Dark aromas of blueberry, blackberry, licorice, menthol and peppery herbs are lifted by a touch of minerality. Dark berry and licorice flavors are accented by a faint greenness and framed by harmonious acidity. Bone-dry and very easy to drink, this blend relies more on its acidity than on its dusty, slightly edgy tannins for shape and structure. Clubb told me that he "doesn't grow any vineyards with the idea that they will end up in this wine." Rather, he makes it from "hard-pressed fractions from multiple vineyards and declassified wines," adding that he looks for a fruity, fresh style with very little new oak. Although he bottles it early, he holds the finished wine for a full year before releasing it.