Oregon wine: 2018 L’Ecole N° 41 Winery Perigee ©Winerabble

Oregon wine: 2018 L’Ecole N° 41 Winery Perigee and individual components

Each year L’Ecole No 41 Winery creates their Perigee red blend with different percentages of several grape varietals; Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Malbet, Petit Verdot and Cabernet franc. All grown at the winery’s estate Seven Hills Vineyard, the blend celebrates the point in the moon’s orbit when it is nearest to the earth, also known as Perigee. Situated on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley, L’Ecole uses grapes grown in the oldest blocks for this blend.

Wine blends are wonderful to enjoy, but the fun is turned up to 11 when I get to geek out and try each component separately too! Below, you’ll find my tasting notes and food pairing suggestions on the finished red blend. However, if you keep scrolling, you can read my tasting notes and comments on each varietal, bottled separately (without any oak influence). These notes offer a glimpse into what L’Ecole’s winemaker Marcus Rafanelli was tasting as he constructed this year’s Perigee blend. (Click here to read our Why Wine? interview with Marcus.)

L’Ecole occasionally offers this tasting experience so I encourage you to coordinate a visit if you too would like to try them individually.

Seven Hills Vineyard
Walla Walla Valley
Columbia Valley

14.5% alcohol

Empty bottle weight:
27.4 ounces // 777 grams

Cork closure

1200 cases produced // LIVE-certified and Salmon-safe

50% Cabernet sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet franc, 9% Malbec, 9% Petit Verdot

At an elevation of 900-1100 feet/274- 335 meters above sea level, the grapevines are rooted in deep, windblown loess soil. The Seven Hills Vineyard received 6-8 inches/15-20 of precipitation over the 2018 growing season, which was relatively mild and stress-free. Only grapes picked from the oldest and most distinguished blocks are considered for the Perigee blend. Aged in French oak (40% new) for 22 months, L’Ecole No 41 considers this one of its flagship wines.