L'Ecole No. 41 2018 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

L'Ecole No. 41 2018 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Item Number: 13844

UPC: 0-721354880017

Country: USA
Region: Washington
Sub Region: Columbia Valley
Appellation/AVA: Columbia Valley
Estate Grown Wine: No
Vintage: 2018
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Type: Wine - White
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Pack: 12
Closure: Cork
Alc by Vol(%): 14.5
Total Acidity: 5.6 g/L
pH: 3.69

Some of the best Chardonnays in Washington State are grown in the slightly cooler growing conditions of the Yakima Valley and in the northern latitudes of the Columbia Valley. The Schmitt and Oasis Vineyards (Yakima Valley) provide nice tropical fruit while Evergreen Vineyard (latitude 47 on the Columbia River) contributes crisp acidity and minerality.

Vineyards: Schmitt, Evergreen, Oasis, Stillwater Creek

Vintage Notes: Perfect dry harvest weather extended hang-time resulting in rich color and vibrant fruit flavors, another great vintage for Washington State. A late bud-break in mid-April was followed by a warm May with rapid canopy growth. A quick, even bloom set a uniform and healthy crop. A cool June contributed to healthy berry growth. July and early August were warm, with occasional heat spikes. Canopies were managed to avoid sunburn and irrigation was micromanaged. Intense cluster thinning was required to control yields. Veraison tracked 2017 in Walla Walla and was slightly ahead in other regions of the state. A brief rainfall shifted early September into cooler weather leading to two months of near perfect weather conditions for final fruit maturity. Higher sugars were balanced against higher acid levels and wonderfully intense color and tannin extraction, big fruit flavors, and overall balanced structure. Another strong Washington vintage.

Winemaking Notes: Over 30 years of meticulous vineyard management and winemaking experience are fundamental to the quality of our wines and reputation for excellence. L'Ecole is engaged in growing and making 100% of their wines. The Chardonnay was harvested in the cool early morning hours and promptly delivered to the winery for immediate pressing. The fruit was whole-cluster pressed to tank and allowed to settle. The juice was then racked off of the solids into mostly second and third year tightgrained French oak barrels. The wine was aged sur lie and stirred for six months.

Tasting Notes: This classic Chardonnay offers an inviting mix of baked apple, Asian pear, and stone. With lemon oil and brioche on the mid-palate, this wine lively builds to a long mineral finish.

Reviews

  • Vinous
    Rating: 87 (12/3/2019)

    White peach, citrus zest, orange blossom and a touch of spices on the fresh if subdued nose. Brisk and clean but a tad skinny on the middle palate, with very dry flavors of white stone fruits, herbs, menthol and white pepper. Shows an umami salinity and softened a bit with air but doesn't have the concentration or persistence of the 2017 version.
  • The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 89 (5/21/2020)

    With an open nose of oak aromas, peaches and pineapple, the 2018 Columbia Valley Chardonnay has apples and citrus blossoms that waft from the glass. Medium-bodied, the palate has a focused and classic expression of ripe tropical and citrus fruits that are balanced by oak and notes of freshly buttered banana bread. The wine ends with a pleasing and lingering finish. This is a great value. It's certainly worth the price of admission.