This past week I had the great pleasure in eating some fantastic food paired with J Bookwalter wines. Established in 1983, J Bookwalter has made a name for itself with quality and high-scoring red wines. Only recently they have been producing high quality and well-priced white wines.
I have to say that their space at their tasting room in Woodinville is nothing short of fantastic. They have a huge outdoor patio and serve their wines by the glass and bottle out there. The range of wines that I tasted there was pretty fantastic.
Wine Enthusiast, in particular, has given Bookwalter some fantastic ratings. In fact their 2008 and 2009 Bordeaux blend, Conflict, was awarded 96 points. While I did not see their current lineup in that scoring range, their wines have achieved some pretty formidable accolades, particularly in the past five years. If you haven't had a chance to visit their Woodinville tasting room, a visit is a must.
Pairing J. Bookwalter wines with some great dishes from Emory's on Silver Lake created a pretty special evening. Particularly the thinly cut seared beef tenderloin served with huckleberry BBQ sauce was cooked to perfection and was a perfect match for the 2010 J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Cabernet. It was a mouthwatering combination. But probably the most unique food item was the Salmon Calzone, served with cantaloupe and Reggiano cheese. This creative amalgamation was a hit! I thought that the food was every bit as good as the wines. . . if not better.
Here are some of the wines that I have recently tried at J Bookwalter, including my visit to their Woodinville tasting room a few weeks ago.
2012 Subplot Number 28- Some years a nonvintage wine. Plum and red cherry on the nose. Palate is smooth. Simplistic. Red cherry, guava and raspberry. Drink now. -87
2012 Couplet- Their Chard and Viognier blend. 60% Chardonnay and 40% Viognier. Cut grass and cantaloupe on the nose. Palate has good acidity and smoothness. Cream, butter, honeydew, lithe and refreshing. Drink now. -89
2011 Protagonist- 52% Cabernet, 40% Merlot and 8% Syrah. Shut down nose. Smoky oak. Palate has fig and black cherry and Christmas spice. Elegant and medium bodied. Needs 2-3 years for fruit to integrate. Winemaker says if needs 8 plus years- 90
2011 Foreshadow Merlot- Prune and oak on the nose that is shut down right now. Palate has red cherry, fig and prune. Needs 2-3 plus years for fruit to integrate. A bit straightforward, but tasty. -90
2012 Novella Late Harvest Viognier- Honeysuckle and grapefruit on the nose. Palate has white peach, Welches white grape juice and pear but has a slightly sour finish. Medium to light weight. I would like a bit more richness and concentration for this type of wine Drink now. -87
2010 Foreshadow Cabernet- Open wine compared to the '11. Red cherry, blackberry and toasty oak on the nose. Palate has blackberry, black cherry, anise and vanilla. Nice finish. Drink now or cellar for 1-2 years. -92
2011 Foreshadow Cabernet- Smoked meats, cassis and black olive on the nose. Red cherry, black pepper and vegetal nodes. Nice balance and Bordelaise but richness somewhat lacking from the vintage. Needs 2-3 years for the fruit to integrate. -91
2012 Suspense- This is one of their Bordeaux blends. Smoky nose. Blackberry and smoked meats. Palate has nice balance. Black cherry, plum and black olive. Nice viscosity. Needs 2-3 years, if not more.-92
2012 Antogonist- Smoke and vegetal nose. Palate has red cherry
smoke and raspberry. Will need a lot of time in the bottle, maybe 2-3 years and likely will be drinking considerably better then. -90
2011 Conflict- Smoky nose and plum. Great nose considering the vintage. Herbaceous and red bell pepper, black olive and cherry tomato with red cherry. Nice minerality. Drink in 2 years. -92
2011 Protagonist- Smoky nose with red bell pepper. Herbaceous. Tasting a lot of Merlot smoothness. Red cherry, anise and raspberry flavors. Drink in one to two years. Lightly tannic. -91