2017 Bookwalter Proprietary Red Blend Conflict Conner-Lee Vineyard

Year: 2017
Appellation: Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Wine Advocate: 91
James Suckling: 95
Jeb Dunnuck: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
Price :

50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Franc, 3% Syrah

"Coming from the Dionysus Vineyard, the 2017 Conflict is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot and 2% Malbec. With a ripe and juicy nose, the wine opens with aromas of dark cherry, blackberry, juicy redcurrant and crème de cassis, with a dusty rockiness and elegant sweet oak spice. Full-bodied, the wine is juicy, rich and full of flavor, showing firm tannins and juicy ripe fruit, before lingering onto a long finish with persistent flavors of potpourri spice, vanilla and bitter dark chocolate. Yum!" (WA)

"A tight, focused red with dark-chocolate, black-olive and currant aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, compressed and chewy with a flavorful finish. Merlot and cabernet sauvignon. Needs time to soften, but I like the linear feel and drive through the center palate. Consistently excellent. Try after 2021." (JS)

"Deep purple-colored, with lots of black cherries, violets, leafy herbs, menthol, and chocolate, the 2017 Conflict is medium to full-bodied, has a ripe, lifted, sexy style and a great finish. Based on 50% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon, and the rest Syrah, all from the Dionysus Vineyard in the Columbia Valley, enjoy this pleasure bent effort over the coming 7-8 years." (JD)

Winery Notes:
The 2017 is another stunning vintage at Bookwalter. Despite smoke haze during harvest, because of careful testing our wines’ natural character was preserved and classic flavor extraction to ideal reserve proportions was achieved. 2017 yielded an average crop which ripened early in the season. We lowered our yields and by harvest the vintage was measuring abundant color and tannin. Our vintage portfolio carries a volume and weight that matched our house style of rich and smooth age worthy reds. Spring’s early budbreak and flowering in June at Dionysus Vineyard was followed by a warm month of heat creating small cluster yields. Summer temperatures were hotter than average again with many July and August days over 100°F. Verasion began 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 125 days of ripening.

The Dionysus 18 block Cabernets and Merlots were picked in clear weather and rescued from the difficult smoke haze of early harvest. Rigorous lab testing of all fruit revealed summer smoke haze had not damaged this vineyard by great fortune. Hand sorted in the vineyard then picked by Pellenc Selectiv at perfect timing in the last weeks of September for merlot and first weeks of October for Cabernets. We mixed by pump over and punch down for 18 days. The vintage was measured for anthocyanins and tannins daily allowing us a perfect balance of extractables to build into these reserves. Fermentation completed in new French oak puncheons. 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.