L'ecole 41, Apogee 2008, Pepper Bridge, Walla Walla Valley, Washington

Drunk September 2013, Goodman,  London

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The winery

L’Ecole No 41 has been producing Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee since 1993. This vineyard, planted in the terraced remnants of ice age flood deposits, is on of the Walla Walla Valley’s most reputable vineyards. Apogee was their first wine.

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The wine

2008 had a cool spring which delayed bud break, but warm May weather set the stage for uniform bloom and fruit set. Summer heat units were normal minus the typical July heat spikes. Windier conditions increased vine stress resulting in added effort to manage canopy growth for balance. Near perfect fall conditions resulted in only a slightly later than normal harvest for most varietals. Considered a cool year, there were higher acidity levels with yields slightly below average. The wine was cleanly racked to 100% small French oak barrels, 50% new, with five rackings over 22 months.

This bold, complex wine has aromas of fruit, spice with a hint of tobacco and leather. Heavy duty tannins persist requiring plenty of air to bring the best out of the Apogee.