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J Bookwalter "Readers" Merlot 2019

J Bookwalter "Readers" Merlot 2019

Columbia Valley, Washington

Regular price $29.99 USD
Regular price Sale price $29.99 USD
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  • Tasting Notes

    The 2019 J Bookwalter Readers Merlot offers a vibrant garnet hue with dark ruby undertones, enticing the senses with a complex bouquet of savory herb, spice, plum, and cherry aromas. As the wine unfolds, it reveals layers of blackberry, black plum, and luscious cherry flavors, showcasing its multifaceted profile. With a harmonious balance of savory highlights, ripe fruit, and sweetly spiced oak, this Merlot delivers an effortlessly enjoyable drinking experience. Its bright acidity and smooth, silky fine-grained tannins contribute to a textural richness, while the juicy and slightly grippy finish leaves a lasting impression, enticing the palate for another sip.

    Talk about bang for the buck—this red blend exudes structure and zesty polish, unveiling expressive notes of black cherry, toasty mocha, and smoked spices. Crafted with 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Malbec, this wine exemplifies the exceptional value found in J Bookwalter's Readers series, sourced from old-vine fruit that didn't fit into the winery's primary program. Aromatically vibrant with hints of black fruit and herbs, the palate is generously endowed with plump flavors, showcasing both depth and mid-palate elegance characteristic of the vintage.

  • Story

    The story of J. Bookwalter Winery is one of family heritage, deep roots, and a centuries-old commitment to the land. For ten generations, the Bookwalter family has been entrenched in American agriculture, culminating in the establishment of J. Bookwalter Winery in 1982 by Jerry Bookwalter. Jerry, part of the ninth generation, transitioned the family from traditional farming into viticulture. He played a pivotal role in managing the plantings of the renowned Sagemoor, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards before becoming the vineyard manager of the prestigious Conner Lee Vineyard, which remains a vital grape source for the winery. Jerry's son, John Bookwalter, grew up in these vineyards but left in the late 1980s for a successful sales and marketing career. He returned in 1997 with a renewed vision for the winery, making significant improvements and expansions that solidified J. Bookwalter's reputation.

    Under John Bookwalter's leadership, J. Bookwalter Winery has evolved from one of Washington’s oldest wineries into one of the Pacific Northwest's most recognized boutique wine brands. Their wines are uniquely themed around literary concepts, reflecting a playful nod to the family name. This creative branding, coupled with their commitment to supporting literacy in Eastern Washington, underscores their dedication to both quality and community. In 2021, John entrusted the winemaking responsibilities to Jeremy Santo, a highly regarded winemaker, ensuring that the winery's tradition of excellence continues. Today, J. Bookwalter is celebrated for its exceptional vineyard sources and meticulous winemaking, producing some of the world's finest wines.

  • Somm Notes

    ​Two things: One - I love a well thought out brand and with other wines named after literary terms like conflict, protagonist, sublot, and others named after something book related - notebook and readers. It's a delightful turn at branding - chef's kiss.

    Two - I love when a region that is not as widely recognized really produces a stunner. Bookwalter wines do just that, consistent quality, and a depth of complexity that makes the argument that you shouldn't sleep on Washington wines - especially those reds!

    An hour max drive from Seattle, and you can find yourself sipping some Bookwalter Wines at their tasting room in Woodinville. Enjoy the occasional live music and food on their outdoor patio.

    J. Bookwalter Winery is dedicated to the community and the advancement of Washington state wines. Their commitment to literacy and education is demonstrated through corporate giving to local charities, including The Children’s Reading Foundation of the Mid-Columbia, Hugo House in Seattle, the King County Library System Foundation, and the Columbia Basin College Scholarship Foundation. Active in the Tri-Cities community, John Bookwalter and his team participate on boards and committees such as Visit Tri-Cities and the Tri-City Cancer Center. Additionally, John has served as chair of the Washington State Wine Commission and, along with his wife Gretchen, has been an honorary co-chair of the Auction of Washington Wines, highlighting their dedication to both community and industry support.

    #41 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2022

    92 points Wine Spectator
    Talk about bang for the buck—this red has structure and zesty polish, plus expressive black cherry, toasty mocha and smoked spice flavors.

    90 points Wine Enthusiast
    Bookwalter’s Readers wines are one of the best places to find value in Washington—with much of it coming from old-vine fruit that didn’t fit into the rest of the winery’s program. Made with 15% Syrah and equal parts Petit Verdot and Malbec (5%), this Cab blend has aromas that pop, with notes of black fruit and a sprinkling of herbs. The flavors are plump and generous while showing the mid palate elegance of the vintage. Editors’ Choice.

    We recommend serving this wine with pizza, spaghetti, and pork cutlets

  • Region

    VINTAGE NOTES from the Winery:
    The 2019 growing season was unique. Late winter weather left snow in the vineyard in February all the way into March, delaying pruning and other vineyard work. Summer temperatures were cooler and considerably more even than in recent years, with a notable lack of heat spikes. A minor frost event at the end of September was followed by a series of larger, statewide frosts and freezes in early to mid-October. Despite this challenge, we were excited about the
    quality of fruit that was picked in 2019. These grapes after harvest were fermented in open-top bins and were punched down daily to ensure good extraction, then aged in barrel for 18 months.

    Nestled east of the Cascade Mountain range, the Columbia Valley AVA stands as the heart of Washington's wine country, boasting a staggering expanse of over 11 million acres, of which more than 99% are dedicated to vinifera grape cultivation. The region, designated in 1984, spans central, south-central, and southeastern Washington, as well as north-central Oregon. Named after the mighty Columbia River, which shapes its landscape, the area benefits from a rain shadow effect, creating an arid and semi-arid desert environment perfect for grape growing. With an average annual precipitation of merely 6-8 inches, irrigation is essential, although the ample waters of the Columbia River and its tributaries provide ample sustenance for the flourishing vineyards.

    Characterized by a diverse array of soils, shaped by the cataclysmic Missoula Floods over 15,000 years ago, the Columbia Valley boasts loess-covered gravel and slackwater sediment, with basalt forming the bedrock. These well-drained soils, coupled with the region's warm, dry temperatures during the growing season, offer growers unparalleled control over grape development, resulting in consistently high-quality wines with minimal vintage variation. Additionally, the prevalence of own-rooted vines enhances varietal typicity, contributing to the region's reputation for producing wines of distinct character. As a testament to its significance, nearly all of Washington's sub-appellations are situated within the Columbia Valley, making it the cornerstone of the state's renowned wine industry.