The 2012 L’Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Chenin Blanc is sourced from four 30 year old + vineyards in the Yakima Valley AVA inside the larger Columbia Valley AVA in Washington State. L’Ecole No.41 was founded in 1983 and is the 3rd oldest winery in the Walla Walla AVA, though this bottling is from their more valued priced (this Chenin Blanc can be found from $15 to $19.99 on the web) Columbia Valley series of wines. The 2012 vintage on the West Coast, California, Oregon and Washington was arguably the best in decades. The last 4 vintages for that area had problems, the quality of the grapes were generally good but the yields were off, quality wines should be plentiful for 2012 wines. The L’Ecole No.41 Chenin Blanc made in the French Vouvray style. Vouvray is a region in the Loire Valley of France that specializes in Chenin Blanc, making high quality wines that can have great aging potential, it might be fun to pick up a value priced Vouvray and have a side by side comparison of wines made in the same style, but grown in two vary different places. This Chenin Blanc was fermented in stainless steel and the alcohol content is 13.5%. 3,850 cases of this Chenin Blanc were produced.
The color is a subdued honey yellow. The nose is light and delicate, honey, golden delicious apples, orange and sugary citrus. This Chenin Blanc has full balanced body and subtle fruit/citrus flavors. It tastes of apple, peaches, lemon with tangerine and solid dose of minerality showing up on the mid palate. The acidity is on display but balanced. The finish is full and long.
The 2012 L’Ecole No.41 Chenin Blanc is a small production wine from a family owned winery featuring single AVA grapes to create a wine made in a classic style and yet it sells for only a few bucks more than mass production wines sourced from multiple grape growing area’s. Chenin Blanc is an interesting grape, it can be full bodied and lush or acidic and tart, depending on the growing area and the winemakers intentions, but it is almost always, food friendly and very delicious.