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L' Ecole No. 41 2006 Semillon Fries Vineyard


What I Drank With Dinner (WIDWD)

I should have looked closer at the label before opening this wine, for it wasn't until I poured it into the glass that I realized its alcohol was a whopping 14.4%. Yikes! I just don't understand how some folks can craft white wines with that much octane in them.

I had received this bottle of L' Ecole No. 41 2006 Semillon Fries Vineyard Wahluke Slope as part of a mixed case prize from Northwest Palate magazine earlier this year. Otherwise, I would not have purchased a white wine like this, as most that come in over 14% alcohol end up being a disappointment.

The L'Ecole No. 41 2006 Semillon Fries Vineyard in the glass is a beautiful yellow golden color, but beyond that any aroma or flavor inside is overpowered by the alcohol. This viscous wine had a volatility to it, burning the nose and back of the throat. Here's how L'Ecole describes their Fries Vineyard semillon:

This crisp, lively, aromatic gem shows its marvelous melon fruit and apricot flavors with spicy floral and honeysuckle aromas and hints of fresh fig, tangerine and apple on a clean, zesty finish.

That may have been the case when the wine was first bottled, but after a couple of years all of that heat overpowered any fruit, spice, and floral notes that might have been present in the wine. Besides the strong alcohol, the only discernible flavor was the yeastiness of this semillon, resulting from the wine being aged in barrel on the lees.

I chose to pair this wine with a delicious pasta dinner Kari prepared of sauteed prawns and mushrooms in a cream sauce along with a salad of fresh green leaf lettuce, pecans, Honey crisp apple slices, and cranberries. But after a few sips from the glass, we decided to set aside and open something else on the lighter side.

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L'Ecole Tasting Notes

Kari had prepared this interesting pasta dish of sauteed prawns and mushrooms in cream sauce.

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