Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Taste test: 1999 L'ecole No. 41 Cab

Eleven years later! I'd been holding this wine since I bought it at the winery on my first trip to Walla Walla in 2002. Paid retail, about $35. Opened and vigorously swirled, it was good with a beef dish. Comments:

Color: The traditional magnificent dark purple hue extracted from red Walla Walla fruit. It's a desert! Color should always be dark--near black.

Nose: Disappointing. This is 100% Cabernet sauvignon; I suspected that because it didn't offer up much in the way of fruits, flowers, cedar, or leather. In Bordeaux they do it right, by blending in some aromatic varieties (Merlot, Cab franc, etc.). Advice to winemakers: Don't forget the nose! Humans are incredibly nose-driven, and in foodstuffs the smell is critical!

Palate: Nice dark fruits. Smooth tannins. Good finish.

Overall score: 87. Way too few points, for so many purchase dollars! I note that one Snooth amateur scorer gave it just 3.5 stars, out of five.

Conclusion: Glad that was my last bottle, of two. There are many better Walla Walla wines.

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