2016 Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist Conner-Lee Vineyard

Year: 2016
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
James Suckling: 92
Jeb Dunnuck: 92+
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
Price :


95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Franc

"This offers a fresh array of bright red berries, as well as a floral edge to the nose. Quite dense and concentrated in the mouth with slightly tangy acidity that holds boysenberry and mulberry flavors fresh. Smooth yet defined tannins. Drink or hold." (JS)

"Deeper purple-colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist (95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Syrah, and 2% Cabernet Franc) offers a more straightforward, ripe bouquet of cassis, scorched earth, graphite, and spice. It's full-bodied, nicely concentrated, and powerful on the palate yet still stays balanced and lively, with nicely integrated acidity. It needs 2-3 years of bottle age to develop more complexity but is a beautiful wine from this team." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Production Notes:
The 2016 is perhaps our finest vintage at Bookwalter because we used new analytic tools measuring our wines natural extraction to ideal reserve proportions. 2016 yielded a bigger than average crop which ripened into the hot vintage very well. Early in the season and again at verasion, we lowered our yields with much hand labor. By harvest, the vintage was measuring record color and tannin. Our vintage portfolio carries a volume and weight that match our house style of rich and smooth age worthy reds. Spring's early budbreak and flowering on June 1st at Conner Lee Vineyard was followed by a warm month of heat with a June rain storm that induced larger cluster yields. Summer temperatures were hotter than average again with many July and August days over 100 F. Verasion vegan in early August 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 130 days of ripening.

Winemaker Notes:
"The 1991, 1988 & 1987 block Cabernets were hand sorted on the vine closely then picked by Pellenc Selectiv the first weeks of October. We mixed by pump over and punch down for three weeks. The vintage was measured for anthocyanins and tannins daily allowing us a perfect balance of extractables to build into our favorite tanks for these reserves. Fermentation completed in new French oak punchons. We aged on lees reductively developing savory tones complimentary to the powerful fruit. After 20 months, we selected each puncheon for this reserve bottling. We then blended and filtered for purity and aging stability. With the addition of choice Syrah 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." - Caleb Foster, Winemaker