2015 Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist Conner-Lee Vineyard

Year: 2015
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Spectator: 91
Jeb Dunnuck: 93--Wine Enthusiast: 91
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
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"Refined and broad-shouldered, with expressive currant, stony mineral and espresso flavors that build toward fine-grained tannins. Best from 2020 through 2026. 943 cases made. -TF " (WS)

"The 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist Conner Lee Vineyard is similar to the Conflict, yet offers slightly more earth, lavender, and tobacco, with terrific black and blue fruits. Full-bodied, elegant and silky, with fine, polished tannin, it's another impeccably made red that's going to keep for 10-12+ years. This cuvée is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc and the balance Malbec, aged in 50% new French oak." (JD)

"This brings roasted coffee bean, char, leafy green herb, spice and cherry aromas, and the oak (75% new French) plays a prominent part in the show. The palate is rich, textured and supple, with plentiful black cherry and barrel flavors that linger on the finish. It hits the gong hard, feeling totally hedonistic." (WE)

Winery Notes:
The 2015 is perhaps the finest vintage in Washington for its sheer intensity. The earliest harvest, 2015 fruit from our vineyards yielded very small grapes on small clusters with record color and tannin. Our vintage portfolio carries a volume and weight that matched our house style of rich and smooth age worthy reds. Spring broke buds early and grew into flowering on June 1st at Conner Lee Vineyard followed by two weeks of heat that formed very small grapes. Summer temperatures were hotter than average with many July and August days over 100°F. Verasion began in July and completed quickly, a hallmark of great vintages. Our well managed vineyard blocks had fruit shaded by a few west side leaves keeping fruit from sunburn. We picked our fruit perfectly ripe at 125 days of ripening and for the first time, before September was through.

These 1988 & 1987 block Cabernets were handpicked the week of September 25. We then hand sorted the clusters, and destemmed into small one and four ton fermenters for hand mixing for two weeks. Fermentation completed in barrels and puncheons. We aged on lees reductively developing savory tones complimentary to the powerful fruit. After 20 months, we selected each barrel for this reserve bottling. We then blended and filtered for purity and aging stability. With the addition of choice Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc for aromatic lift, the blend describes cabernet at its most gorgeous vintage expression. This rich wine will age for a decade or two, enjoyable with a host of foods throughout those seasons.

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