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At a winemaker's dinner, with John Bookwalter attending. I believe all wines are Columbia Valley appellation.

2005 Bookwalter Chardonnay Viognier -- varietal composition is 58/42%; nice medium-gold colour; light, sort of nondescript nose, pear and peach flavours, no apparent oak, bit austere, light, short-to-medium finish; would be OK as summer patio sipper, nothing special. Around 80-82 pts.

NV Bookwalter Lot 19 -- blend of Cab, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Syrah from 2002/3/4 leftovers; currant, cedar, coconut nose; currant, berry flavours, almost Zin-like, quite concentrated, medium-weight; medium length, fruit-driven finish. About 86-87 pts. I'd buy this for summer BBQ drinking if it were cheap.

NV Bookwalter Lot 20 -- similar to 19 but mostly Syrah based and younger; still quite primary, grapey on the nose; ripe plum and currant flavours, oaky, simple; lots of chewy tannin at the end. Around 80-82 pts. Might improve with a bit more time, but my least favourite wine of the evening.

1997 Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon -- funky nose at first with lots of barnyard, black olive, but after 20 min. or so, the barnyard dissipated and left mostly ripe currant; flavours of currant, light cherry, cinammon, and a vegetative/bell pepper streak, not unpleasant, all buttressed by great acidity; medium length finish. Around 87-88 pts. We had been warned that this was from a less-than-stellar vintage, and it showed its cool climate origin, but it was perfectly OK.

2004 Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon -- pretty big currant, coconut, vanilla nose with a bit of alcohol heat; lots of currant, vanilla, cherry, black licorice flavour, fairly dense; fruit and vanilla outlast tannins on long finish. This should improve over the medium term. Around 91-92 pts.

2003 Bookwalter Merlot -- 79% Merlot, the rest filled in by Cab Franc and Petit Verdot; big beef consommé and plum nose, some alcohol; silky texture, ripe plum, cassis, dark chocolate; lots of powdery tannins on finish, slightly hot. Makes a pretty bold statement after the previous wines, but the alcohol seems a tiny bit problematic. In the 90 pt range.

2004 Bookwalter Merlot -- this is 86% Merlot; very nice ripe currant, plum nose, sweet, touch herbal (like CF); plum, chocolate, black cherry, tobacco, tar, great fruit; very good balance, already drinking well; long finish, lots of fruit, rich. About 92-94 pts. Wine of the night for me, without question. I would buy this if it were available.

2003 Bookwalter Chenin Blanc -- doesn't have the bracing acidity of Loire Chenin, off-dry style, nose reminded me of some Oregon fruit cocktail Pinot Gris; mostly pear flavour, honey, some lemon zest. Not overly sweet or concentrated; I think I'd try this as an aperitif with some mild cheeses. Around 80-82 pts.
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Originally posted by BRR:

You might want to change the Subject to Bookwalter instead of Waterbrook. Wink I always enjoy Bookwalter wines, but their price point is creeping a little much for some of their best.

BTW, check the offline thread about a Seattle offline in March. Any interest in coming down?

Eeeeeeeeek!!! Red Face

Thanks, BRR. A senior moment (and maybe not my first). I will fix it.

Regarding Seattle, we'll be away for half of March, but we wouldn't be able to attend unless it were on a weekend. I gave some serious thought to mattach's kind offer but that weekend didn't work. I expect I will eventually make one. You'll be able to recognize me easily-- I'll be the one bringing a bottle of wine.

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