Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) presented the L’Ecole N° 41 2011 Estate Ferguson from Ferguson Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley with its prestigious International Trophy for Best in Show, Red Bordeaux Varietals over £15 at the DWWA ceremony in London last night.
The award is significant not only because less than 0.22% of this year’s 15,007 entries earned an International Trophy but also because L’Ecole’s 2011 Estate Ferguson is the debut release from the winery’s newest Walla Walla Valley estate vineyard.
Marty Clubb, L’Ecole’s owner and managing winemaker, was in London Tuesday to accept the award that was kept secret until the night of the event.
The DWWA’s distinguished judging panel involved 224 wine professionals, including 66 Masters of Wine and 18 Master Sommeliers. Renowned UK wine critic Steven Spurrier, the figure behind the 1976 Judgment of Paris, founded the competition in 2004. It is proclaimed to be the most comprehensive and authoritative wine contest in the world.
In announcing the award, Decanter said the competition’s experts were impressed by the wine’s “dense fruit, balanced palate and deliciously chalky finish, which set it apart.” The wine is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot and 11% Cabernet Franc, sourced exclusively from Ferguson Vineyard, one of the most unique sites in the Walla Walla Valley. Ferguson’s 17 acres are perched on a steep slope with vines rooted in fractured basalt rock overlaid with a thin layer of wind-blown glacial loess.
Founded in the Walla Walla Valley in 1983, L’Ecole N° 41 is one of Washington State’s early family-owned wineries. Housed in the historic Frenchtown school depicted on the label, L’Ecole has earned international acclaim for producing expressive, distinctive wines which reflect the unmistakable typicity of Washington State and the unique terroir of their Walla Walla Valley estate vineyards.
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