Friday, July 21, 2006

Montana trip: reaching its apogee on the Flathead River and with L'Ecole No 41

We ended our Montana trip with a day of rafting on the scenic Middle Fork of the Flathead River, at the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. Although most of it is mild whitewater rafting, the river has a few exciting class III rapids with fearsome names such as Tunnel, Bonecrusher, Jaws, Waterfall Narrows, and C.B.T. (Could Be Trouble). For us, Jaws was maybe the most thrilling of them all. It is where our 12 year old daughter suddenly fell out of the boat in the turbulent waters. Fortunately, she did not panic, swam back to the boat, and was quickly brought safely on board.

Rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, Montana

After all the excitement of the day, we really deserved a gratifying dinner. We were staying in Whitefish, Montana, which is a ski and summer resort with a lot of good restaurants. We decided to try Tupelo Grille, a restaurant specialized in Cajun and Southern cuisine. The place had also a fine wine list with a good selection of wines from Washington State.

I chose a 2002 L'Ecole No 41 Apogee to go with our entrees. Apogee means the point in an orbit most distant from the body being orbited. It is also the farthest or highest point; the apex. “We chose the proprietary name, Apogee, because its definition seemed to reflect all that we were trying to accomplish with this wine....reaching the highest point.” explains Martin Clubb, the winery co-owner and winemaker on the winery's website.

Apogee is a classic Bordeaux blend from the reputable Pepper Bridge Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley. The wine was really enjoyable with our meal, rich but well-balanced, with plenty of dark fruit flavors and a long finish. And what a great way to end our Glacier adventures!

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