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J. Bookwalter Wine Review Mar 2024

The J. Bookwalter tasting room in Woodinville is chic, inviting, and a great place to sit down to enjoy their great range of wines. They were one of the first I tried when I moved near Woodinville. I was impressed by their large portfolio. Their Readers label offers an affordable introduction to their style of wine, and makes a great "weekday" wine. However, I've really gravitated towards their Signature line, especially after discovering their Antagonist in previous tastings. Much of their sourcing comes from the well known Conner Lee Vineyard (Royal Slope). I was fortunate to try a few of their more recent releases, which I share with you here.

Double Plot Chardonnay (Conner Lee Vineyard) 2022

Conner Lee Vineyard. Light tropical aromas, pineapple and toasted coconut. A quick burst of lemon curd and grapefruit initially, opening up midpalate with swirling minerality, creating a pleasing rounded, pillowy soft and creamy mouthfeel. A slight bite at the finish with return of the same fruit, offering fresh acidity and the additional notes of lime, papaya and white pepper. Nice layers and complexity make this a fun chard to enjoy. Rating 92.

Conflict Red Wine (Conner Lee Vineyard) 2021

Dense, and fruit forward, the palate is velvety and silky, offering fig, black plum, red currant, black cherries, and dried fruit leather, with firm slightly chewy tannins. Focused and intense, the fruit is balanced with gentle tobacco, ash, nutmeg, dried sage and toast. The finish is long with nibs of Black licorice emerging. Incredibly robust, pensive, and balanced. Rating 94.

Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

Wild cherries, tobacco and earthy aromas. Opening bold and fruit forward, with an interplay between dark and sweet blackberries, plum and fig balanced with vibrant acidity of seedy red fruit. Mid palate notes of Vanilla cola, and heat of black pepper, to finish long with leathery tannins and orange zest. Well constructed, to provide a solid cab that can hold up to any steak, and will age nicely. Rating 92.

Suspense Cabernet Franc (Conner-Lee Vineyard) 2021

Nose of dark fruit, bell pepper and earth. Luscious juicy plums, fig, blackberries bursting up front with focus and intensity. The palate is pleasingly smooth and cool. Mid palate gives way to dark chocolate covered red cherries, and modest notes of green pepper, black peppercorn and eucalyptus. The finish is long and smooth with refined tannins. Love this CF. Rating 93.


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