For anyone who follows the Washington State wine scene, it’s hard to not know about John Bookwalter. His family has played a part of the success of the wine industry here and his passion not only leads him to make good wine but to also serve on the Washington Wine Commission on the board of directors. I swear, his pores ooze Washington vino.
If nothing else, John has a great mind for not only marketing good wines but also how to make them – he knows his customers well and has no problems playing off of his last name. From his entry level “Bookmark wine” to the Chapter 4 in this review, he has wines for every budget.
- Vineyards: 90% Conner-Lee, 10% Elephant Mountain
- Appellation: Columbia Valley
- Blend: 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc & 10% Syrah
- Cooperage: Aged for 20 months in new and one & two year-old French oak barrels. Most if not all of the barrels were three year air dried, thin stave, medium toast with toasted heads.
- Production: 202 Cases
- Bottled Summer 2011
- pH 3.71
- TA .61
- Alcohol 15.8% by volume
- Price: $80
Nose: Black cherry, licorice, shoe leather, dark chocolate, root beer, tobacco and tar. At first openening, the aroma of oak was off the charts – I had to come back to the wine the second day to finally get the oak to “blow off”.
Taste: This is a massive, new-world-style, dark-fruit driven blend that I know will cater to a lot of wine lovers who appreciate a bold, take-no-prisoners kind of wine. It’s dark, rich, fruity, bold and super “oaky” right now at its relative young age, unless you decant it for 4-8 hours. It has massive tannins and lots of “youth” right now – clearly a wine that needs another 5-10 years in bottle to help mellow things out. The alcohol is a bit high for me at 15.8%, things do get a touch hot while going down the ol’ hatch – this is a wine that’s frankly hard to rate now because it really does need a LOT more time in the bottle to get a firm grasp of where it’s going.
W.E.P. Rating: 85%