Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Celebrating St. Pat's Day with L'Ecole Cab Franc/Merlot

I was invited to be an ambassador for L'Ecole wines.  This means that each month they are providing me with a bottle of wine and a suggested theme for the wine.  My end of the bargain is that I taste the wine, do a pairing and give my honest review here on my blog. There is also a zoom meeting each month where we get to learn about the wine we were sent and ask questions of the winemaker.  I am a big fan of L'Ecole No 41 and was very excited to join them in this endeavour. 

Cab Franc/Merlot

This month we are featuring a Cab Franc/Merlot blend from Walla Walla Valley...............

Cab Franc/Merlot and hamburger

The theme suggested for this month is Spring.  March is also Washington Wine Month and this is a celebration of the first release of this blend from 2018.

I was given 2 bottles of this wine.  I opened the first wine to pair with burgers from the grill. As soon as the first warm weather hits I start craving a grilled burger.  This is a perfect Spring meal in my opinion. 
This pairing was perfect as well.  This blend is 50/50.  I found it to medium bodied and smooth.  There are floral notes as well as some spice.

I enjoyed this wine with the burger and then my husband and I each had a second glass after dinner that was very nice all on it's own.

Another sure sign of Spring for me is St. Patrick's Day.  Normally I serve up a traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner.  Well, this is actually an American tradition....I don't think that in Ireland they serve Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Pat's Day.  

But here in the USA it is tradtional fare and I normally serve it to my brother Dick when I have him over for his birthday dinner.  That was the plan this year as well but then our daughter tested positive for COVID (she's fine) and we are all in quarantine.  

Cab Franc/Merlot and Corned Beef and Cabbage

I made a smaller dinner for the three of us and I opened the second bottle of Cab Franc/Merlot for Frank and I to have.  This pairing was not very successful.  This medium bodied, smooth, delicious wine became thin and sour when paired with this dinner.  I set my glass aside and switched to water because I didn't have any Guiness which, I think, would have been the best pairing.

I finished my glass of wine after dinner while I snuggled up on the couch with a good book. THAT was a perfect pairing!!!

I do think this wine would pair very nicely with other St. Pat's fare....Perhaps this Irish Stew or even this Beef and Red Ale Pie.

I saved a glass to have during our Zoom session this past Monday.  Here are some of the highlights from that meeting:
  • This wine is not only 50/50 Cab Franc and Merlot but also 50/50 between two vineyards, 7 Hills and Ferguson.
  • This a small production wine. It is available on a very limited basis and is winery exclusive.  This means that you need to be a wine club member and/or order it online through the winery,  It will not be available for retail sales.
  • This wine is meant to be enjoyed young. That means that as soon as you get it, it is ready to uncork and pour.  It does well if you let it breathe for a bit before sipping.  This wine can be cellared for up to 10 years.  I have never, ever, been able to cellar wine.  I buy wine....I drink wine. LOL
  • These grapes were harvested in September of 2018.  They will be released to the public on March 23 and they won't last long.
  • You can order this wine by going to the L'Ecole website.
  • This bottle is priced at $39 and I hope to be able to order a couple of bottles to have on hand for the summer grilling season. 
Thanks for joining me this month.  Next month I will be tasting and sharing my thoughts about L'Ecole No. 42 Syrah.  Hope to see you then.

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