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j bookwalterA mid-sized winery producing about 30,000 cases annually, J. Bookwalter has been fixture in the Tri Cities area of Eastern Washington since 1982. They source this Cab from the  Dionysus Vineyard on the banks of the Columbia River from vines that are nearly 40 yrs. old. This is the second vintage for acclaimed winemaker Caleb Foster who took over the winemaking from John Bookwalter in 2014.

A ripe, dense wine, showing aromas of cassis, fig, damp leaves, chocolate, and graphite it leaves an unctuous first impression in the mouth, rich and heavy with a weight of woe. The marked sweetness is rescued by a layer of soaring acidity that keeps the focus on high toned fruit notes through the mid-palate and finish. Despite the massive fruit and dynamic acidity it has a tender underbelly. The tannins are exceptionally soft seeming to hide behind the bright acidity generating some tartness on the medium length finish.

A lush, indulgent box-of-chocolate wine until the acid darts like lightning with a promise of hope, yet the tannins are too soft to deliver genuine power and depth. It’s searching for its soul but will get  a boost when paired with a diva-delivered big ballad.

Technical notes: 22 months in 60% new French oak. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Score: 91

Price: $75

Alc: 14.9%

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