Friday, April 19, 2013

Nostalgic: L’Ecole Nº 41 Chenin Blanc - 2012

In a wine area that is famous for its red wines, one of the longest produced and sought out wine just happens to be a white. Since 1987, L’Ecole Nº 41 has been producing Chenin Blanc that is very much like those gentle whites found in the area of Vouvray in the Loire Valley of France. 
Since the early days of L'Ecole, founding winemaker Jean Ferguson crafted her version of Chenin Blanc and it has been a popular, yet nostalgic wine for the winery ever since.  In fact, the 2012 vintage will enter the record books as one of the largest in Washington state with usual normal yields, besides an increase in acreages of this vibrant white grape. Sourced from older vines in the Yakima Valley: Willard Farms, Phil Church, Upland Vineyard, and Rothrock Vineyard. 
Harvested in the cool early-morning hours, the fruit was immediately delivered to the winery and without delay, was gently whole-cluster pressed. The aromatics are feminine with notes of orange blossom. On the palate there are flavors of honey, crisp apples, and stone fruit with a light mineral finish. 

And like those Old World Vouvrays in France, Chenin Blanc is usually one of the few white wines that will age gracefully, while showing off the color of honey. But why age it? Drink it often and as much as possible. 

L’Ecole Nº 41 Chenin Blanc - 2012 makes for one of those lazy afternoon sippin' wines on the porch and yet will pair with rich cream sauces such as a gourmet mac & cheese, crab cakes with a beurre blanc sauce, Eggs Benedict for brunch, or a simple plate of fresh fruit and French cheeses - - and don't forget the buttery croissants.

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