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2009 l'Ecole No. 41 Merlot Columbia Valley
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89 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2012

(aged in a combination of French and American barrels, 30% new):  Bright dark red.  Expressive aromas and flavors of plum, redcurrant, spices, tobacco and sexy oak are complemented by a smoky mineral aspect.  Juicy, spicy and nicely delineated, expressing clear varietal character and well-judged oakiness.  Finishes with a firm dusting of tannins and good verve.

88 Points | Wine Spectator

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Merlot enjoyed a surge in popularity in the 1990s as consumers suddenly discovered that they could enjoy aromas and flavors similar to those of Cabernet in a fleshier, softer wine with smoother tannins. A wave of Merlot plantings followed, frequently in soils and microclimates completely inappropriate for this variety, and the market was soon...
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