Seattle Times wine columnist Andy Perdue reports that a Washington winery has earned the top award for red Bordeaux varieties at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
L’Ecole No. 41’s 2011 Ferguson Vineyard, a red blend that is a new wine for the Walla Walla Valley winery, brought home the trophy June 24. L’Ecole was the only American winery to win one of the 33 International Trophies at this year’s Decanter competition, where 224 international wine experts judged more than 15,000 wines from around the world.
Owner Marty Clubb represented the winery at the awards ceremony. “I’m still in shock,” he said. “It’s really tremendous for Washington to have a wine that won this category.”
The Decanter Wine Awards is operated by Decanter magazine and Steven Spurrier, the man who ran the 1976 Judgment of Paris tasting that ultimately put California on the wine map and inspired the 2008 movie “Bottle Shock.”
This award could go down as another watershed moment in the Washington wine industry, alongside Quilceda Creek Vintners earning a perfect 100-point score from The Wine Advocate for its 2002 cabernet sauvignon and Columbia Crest winning Wine Spectator’s No. 1 wine in the world in 2009 for its 2005 reserve cabernet sauvignon.
Though L’Ecole is on the Washington side of the Walla Walla Valley, its estate Ferguson Vineyard actually is in Oregon, not far from the town of Milton-Freewater.