L' Ecole No. 41 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
For the record, I am extremely biased toward Walla Walla Valley fruit, therefore my subjective palate has a tendency to become fully smitten with wines made from grapes sourced in this area of Washington state.
Such is the case with the L' Ecole No. 41 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley, a wine I am left with feelings of regret for not having another bottle to enjoy. I came into possession of this wine as part of a mixed case I won well over a year ago after completing a customer survey for Northwest Palate magazine.
In the glass, this Walla Walla cab is a beautifully rich reddish purple color delivering scents of blackberry and cherry fruit along with notes of tobacco and leather enveloped in a dusty earthiness. On the palate, this blend of 94% cab sauv and 6% cab franc offered a smooth, silky mouth feel, great acidity, and no perceptible alcohol on the finish even though it was labeled at 14.4%.
Overall, this was a well structured and integrated wine that paired wonderfully with our Vietnamese steak salad.
The salad consisted of sliced tri-tip beef that had been grilled medium rare and placed on a bed of green leaf lettuce, julienne carrots, sliced red bell pepper, cucumbers, fresh cilantro, and mint. All of this was dressed in an incredibly delicious nuoc cham sauce, that offered just the right amount of acidity and heat to bring everything to life.
I loved this flavorful wine and its pairing with such an amazing meal. Too bad there's not another bottle of this left, but fortunately future vintages await. I can't wait to taste the '07s and '08s.
(photo courtesy of www.lecole.com)