L'Ecole Chenin Blanc Old Vines 2020

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Tasting Notes

This is a very aromatic wine, with blood orange, ripe pear, apricot, and flowers. On the palate, it offers lovely rounded acidity balancing full-flavored, more tropical fruits like starfruit and guava as well as light mineral notes. The wine is clean, layered, and possesses remarkable depth of flavor. It is medium bodied with a long finish.


The Yakima Valley was Washington’s first AVA, established in 1983. It lies west of the Cascades, in the rain shadow, so it is an arid region. It contains three sub-AVAs—Red Mountain, Rattlesnake Hills, and Snipes Mountain. Yakima produces about equal quantities of red and white wines, rare for eastern Washington. The growing season tends to be long and the climate moderate for the east. It provides the grapes for this wine. L’Ecole itself is located to the southeast, in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, primarily a produce of red wines. Now run by the third generation of the Clubb family, the artisanal winery was founded in 1983, the third winery in the valley.  On the label of each bottle of L’Ecole No.41 is a picture of the historic Frenchtown school that is the winery’s home.


This old-vines Chenin Blanc has been produced since 1987. Grapes are sourced from four Yakima Valley vineyards, each planted in 1979. The 2019 vintage saw a mild growing season but a challenging harvest. Budbreak occurred late April to early May, a few weeks later than usual. Veraison was also about 10 days later than normal, but August and early September were appropriately warm. A light frost in late September with a promise of more freezing weather accelerated the harvest, and picking ended in the second week of October, with about 40% of the fruit still on the vine at that time. One vineyard was machine harvested in the middle of the night; the other three were manually harvested after the freeze. Fruit was whole-cluster pressed, the juice was racked to stainless steel and fermented slowly, resting on the les. The wine saw no malolactic fermentation; after cold stabilization and light filtering, the wine was bottled February 26-27.


Food Pairing Suggestions

Cheese, Chicken/Turkey, East Asian (Chinese/Japanese/Korean), Fish (white), Fondue, Green Salads, Hors d'oeuvres, Indian Food, Just for Cocktailing, Mexican, Mushrooms, Roasted Root Vegetables, Shellfish, Spicy Food, Sushi, Thai or Vietnamese

Washington , Yakima Valley
Grape Varietal:
100% Chenin Blanc
$20.00 each