Walla Walla WOW – L’Ecole No. 41 2008 Estate Luminesce

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When the organizers of the North American Wine Bloggers’ Conference first proposed a change of venue for 2010, Joe was disappointed.

We’ve fallen in love with California’s Wine Country and Joe was a bit skeptical about taking the event farther north. Given my only visit to the far northwest corner of the country was a 5-hour layover in Portland after a flight from Japan, I was excited about the opportunity to visit another wine region. In fact, I had planned to attend a Wild Wine Women Bloggers Gathering in Walla Walla originally scheduled for February. But the all girl grape fest was postponed when the location for WBC2010 was announced.

We didn’t know much about Washington State wines but heard great things from the “Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman” and blogger Catie McIntyre Walker. So when we heard about the Washington State Wine Blog Tour, I signed us up! L’Ecole No. 41 was the first Washington winery to send wines to samples and are we glad they did! Every wine we tasted in their portfolio is good, and it’s no wonder they’ve been named Winery of the Year eight times by Wine & Spirits. If all Washington State wines taste like these, we can’t wait to get to Walla Walla.

If all Washington State wines taste like these, we can't wait to get to Walla Walla.
L’Ecole No. 41 takes its name from the historic Frenchtown schoolhouse that houses the winery. The brightly colored label features a chalkboard and a watercolor rendition of the schoolhouse created in 1984 by then 8-year old Ryan Campbell, following a contest among the elementary school children in the founders’ extended family.

L’Ecole No. 41 2008 Estate Luminesce

The 2008 Estate Luminesce is from Seven Hills Vineyard in Walla Walla Valley.  Pale straw in color, this blend of 70% Semillion and 30% Sauvignon Blanc offers a nose of grapefruit and lychee with a touch of honeysuckle and slate. Bright minerality on the palate, with more grapefruit and citrus, the Luminesce finishes with a little touch of lemon zest.  Perfectly balanced, Joe likened this Walla Walla jewel to the “Love Child of California and France.” Of the vineyard, L’Ecole No. 41 tells us

This Estate vineyard, planted in the wind blown loess of geologically young, mineral rich soils, is one of the Walla Walla Valley’s most acclaimed vineyards. Wine & Spirits Magazine named Seven Hills Vineyard as One of the Ten Great Vineyards of the World in their fall 2004 issue. L’Ecole Nº 41’s partners in Seven Hills Vineyard are Pepper Bridge Winery and Leonetti Cellar.

Released in September 2009, Luminesce is 14.2% alcohol by volume, and attractively priced at a suggested retail price of $20.

We paired this wine with a seafood medley of tuna tar tar with avocado, cilantro and tomato; seared scallops and shrimp sautéed in butter and garlic (tails on) with lightly breaded red snapper and roasted red potatoes rubbed with garlic and sea salt. All rested in a scrumptious sauce prepared from homemade fish stock thickened with heavy cream and butter.  Joe’s recipe for the seafood stock and sauce to follow.

The Luminesce is one of six wines produced by L’Ecole No. 41. The fruit is sourced from sustainable farmed vineyards, and the wines are certified Salmon Safe.

March is Washington Wine Month! Look for more information about Washington State Wines as we’ll continue to review them as we count the days to our trip to Walla Walla.

Cheers!

The WineWonkette

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  • chrisstonecipher

    Try the Logan Berry wine next time your up here again in my neck of the woods (Walla Walla) (Greenbank Winery, Greenbank Washington.)

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    L'Ecole No. 41 is one of my favorite wineries. I'm partial to their semillon.

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