As the holidays loom, sharing holiday wine is the gift of the season. Every winery has its own concept of wine gifts. As a wine lover, wine gifting and receiving becomes a nice way to end the year. This year I received a wonderful gift from L’Ecole No 41.
For the past year, I have discovered the marvelous and consistently balanced wine of L’Ecole. From the various webinars I participated in, to a visit to Walla Walla, I got a real sense of L’Ecole. This family-owned winery is a pillar in the community, giving back to Walla Walla in many ways. The spirit of family and its legacy begins at L’Ecole and extends into their wine.
L’Ecole has many options for wine gifts to give at any time of the year. As many wine lovers have discovered, Washington wine is exceptional and, at the same time, represents an excellent value. L’Ecole is no different.
Holiday Wine Gifts
For me, a gift of wine is one I can share with family and friends. One of my favorite parts of wine is sharing and the social aspect it brings out in all of us. Therefore, I love receiving gifts of wine so I can bring out the social part of drinking wine with those I care for and love.
Join me in opening my Holiday Wine Gift
My gift box included two L’Ecole wines, Chenin Blanc and Syrah. I have now sampled both wines, so I can speak to what I received.
L’Ecole Chenin Blanc 2020: The vineyards for this vintage of Chenin Blanc come from Upland Vineyard, Snipes Mountain, Willard Farms, Yakima Valley, and Phil Church Vineyard, Yakima Valley.
The grapes went through a partial malolactic fermentation, which rounded out the acidity, softens the mouthfeel, and adds weight to the wine. The fermentation compensated for the bracing acidity, allowing white florals and the stone fruit to come through.
I found a balanced, integrated, and fruitier wine with aromatics of stone fruit, white flowers, and citrus. On the palate, fresh fruit flavors prevailed.
L’ Ecole Syrah, Seven Hills Vineyards 2018: This Syrah utilizes grapes from three blocks of the Seven Hills Vineyard. These vines represent some of the earliest Syrah plantings in Walla Walla. The age of these vines gives the wine the old-world characters of earth and spice yet complements the bold, expressive fruit. Each block is hand-harvested, of which 20% of the fruit ferments whole cluster on stems, while the rest is gently crushed and placed in stainless steel fermenters. The wine ages for 18 months in 40% new French oak.
I discovered a smoothly balanced wine with lush fruit and savory notes. Created in a northern Rhone style, the wine is fruity but not jammy. I found savory aromas accented by cedar, baking spices, and herbs on the nose. On the palate, flavors of dark from with hints of white pepper and spice lead to a silky finish.
Holiday Wine Gifts – Chocolate
We all love pairing wine with chocolate. My gift had the extra bonus of chocolates from Petits Noirs, a local confection shop in Walla Walla. I have to say from what I have sampled; these are some exceptionally chocolate to pair with the Syrah. From Rosemary Pink Peppercorn, Blueberry Cardamom, and the Fig Pistachio Fennel seeds are my favorites so far. I cannot wait to try the Almond Black Salt, Pear Bergamot Biscuit, Coconut Coriander, and Apricot Lavender.
Petits Noirs is a boutique chocolatier in Walla Walla and founded by Lan Wong and James Boulanger. They originally started the business in New York City but relocated to Walla Walla in 2006. Today their ingredients specifically feature the local farmers of the Northwest.
Petits Noirs features several lines, including those explicitly catering to wine like the Wine Biscuits and the Wine Collection Chocolates. The Wine Collection caters to both red and white wine.
While I typically receive hosted wine samples, this article reviews a gift I received.