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Jeb Dunnuck, 95 points
"The 2016 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard comes all from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in Walla Walla and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Malbec, and 4% Cabernet Franc raised in 50% new French oak. Its saturated purple color is followed by a nuanced, layered bouquet of crème de cassis, spiced black raspberries, graphite, spring flowers, and classy oak. It’s rich, medium to full-bodied, concentrated, and in need of 3-5 years of bottle age. It’s a brilliant wine that will see it 20th birthday in fine form."

James Suckling, 94 points
"Tons of cherries, redcurrants and wild herbs make the nose of this totally distinctive red blend really exciting. The palate more than confirms this impression with a stunning balance of freshness, vibrant fruit and focused power, through the long, sleek and complex finish. A blend of 60 per cent cabernet sauvignon, 25 per cent merlot, 11 per cent Malbec and four per cent cabernet franc. Try to wait until at least 2021."

Vinous, 93 points
"Bright medium ruby. Vibrant scents of blueberry, boysenberry, violet, licorice and oak spices. Wonderfully plush, even creamy by the standards of this producer, yet still quite primary thanks to lively acidity and inner-mouth violet lift. At once pretty and firmly structured, this age worthy beauty finishes with very fine-grained, palate-dusting tannins and slowly building fruit. This vineyard did particularly well in 2016, noted owner Marty Clubb, who harvested it late. While this wine’s acidity is normally all natural, in ‘16 the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon components got a quarter-gram per liter acidification."

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 91+ points
"A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 11% Malbec and 4% Cabernet Franc, the 2016 Apogee Pepper Bridge Vineyard opens to aromas of dark red fruit and dusty black fruit, balanced by soft red and purple flowers with sweet spice nuances floating on top of the glass. Medium to full-bodied, the wine is clean and correct, with a foodfriendly expression and tannins gripping the gumline. The wine lingers with a mixed berry compote and brown baking spice-flavored finish. 1,320 cases produced. It’s a beautiful wine."

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    Red Blend
  • APPELLATION
    Walla Walla Valley, Washington
  • ALCOHOL
    14.50%
  • SIZE
    750ml

"L’Ecole N° 41 has been producing Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee since 1993. Apogee represents our best effort to capture this vineyard’s distinctive and characteristic spicy bold aromas, dark fruit flavors, robust tannins, and rich structure."

TASTING NOTES 

This complex wine has brooding aromas of black cherry, cocoa, licorice and leather. Flavors of tobacco, currant and baking spice are wrapped in fine-grained tannins on a robust finish.