Wednesday, July 21, 2021

L’Ecole 2020 Luminesce A Perfect Summer White for Your Picnic

For us, this is the ideal summer wine, whether you’re packing a picnic lunch or planning a casual meal in the backyard.

A Rarity In Walla Walla Valley

The 2020 Luminesce by L‘Ecole No. 41 is a special wine for several reasons. First, a white wine in the Walla Walla Valley AVA, where 95% of grapes grown are red, is a rarity. This limited-production wine is also the only white wine offered by L’Ecole that is produced with Walla Walla fruit.

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The wine is 62% Semillon and 38% Sauvignon Blanc, coming from the acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard, in which L’Ecole is a partner. The vineyard was named one of the Ten Great Vineyards of the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine. 

When you think of Bordeaux blends, we normally envision the classic red grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Not so fast! Bordeaux produces some beautiful white wines and Luminesce is a classic Bordeaux-style white blend.

A White Bordeaux Blend

In many white Bordeaux blends, the Sauvignon Blanc plays the lead role, but for L’Ecole, there is no doubt that Semillon has to be the leading grape. Semillon is the most important white variety for L’Ecole. The winery has been producing the Semillon-driven Luminesce since 2007.

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Semillon has the body and viscosity that results in a wonderful texture in the wine. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc is a classic pairing as the less-acidic Semillon reins in the zesty Sauvignon Blanc

The wine is whole-cluster-pressed to capture the depth of flavors. Malolactic fermentation adds to the full body and the wine is aged sur lie for four months in tight-grained French oak barrels. During aging, the wine had battonage every two weeks before heading to stainless steel for finishing.

We paired the Luminesce with a backyard picnic that included falafel balls, cheese and Gruyere tarts, pasta salad, and hummus and naan. The wine has a nice one-two punch. The Semillon brings a rounded fruit profile that perfectly balances with the crispness of the Sauvignon Blanc. On the palate, there is citrus and peach with nice savory notes. It ends with a hint of white pepper.

There were 1,350 cases produced and the SRP is $22. It’s a tasty bargain for those beautiful summer days.

Full disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.

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