Monday, June 4, 2012

Wine Encounter: J. Bookwalter

Wine Encounter
Being a favorite winery of a taste bud from Washington, the J.Bookwalter tasting at Wine Encounter was not to be missed. Everyone was already seated and chatting when we arrived, we were promptly led to our tables that was all set up. It was cosy and relaxing place with good decors and lighting.

Soon the manager Rick got everyone's attention and began the tasting with a short introduction about the winery and to get to know the crowd. With each introduction, Rick went around pouring and showing the bottles. He was very friendly and professional. We were served decent bread and there was a light appertizers (cheese, grapes, salami) at the back of the store where there were plush sofas. We had to walk past fancy wooden wine lockers with names of the owners in gold. Some owners had great names.

Regular taste buds
Now a little about J Bookwalter. It began with second generation Jerry Bookwalter in 1983. Jerry graduated from UCDavis agricultural program in 1962 and worked on farms before getting involved with wine making. His son John joined in 1997 and enlisted Zelma Long, who is well known in the wine industry. A more recent addition Claude Gros hailing from Languedoc-Roussillon wine region of France, is a celebrated consultant winemaker for Bookwalter.

Getting serious about notes
No more lollygagging and on to the wine!

Smells of cantaloupe, papaya and bouquet. It was medium dry with tropical fruitiness. It had a metallic finish with residual sugar. OOO

A blend of Chardonnay and Viognier, this wine has a sweet floral nose. It had good flavors of apricot although it was a little too tart for me. It was a little buttery but not smooth. Tart finish with no cream. Interesting note: the two varietals were cofermented (usually blended after fermenting). OO

This had wonderful toasty aroma with currant, dark chocolate and spice. I was surprised that it was made with all stainless steel! Fruit forward with hints of pepper and good balance of tannins and acid. Medium bodied with dry lasting finish. Good wine that will be revisited. OOOO

A favorite
This is a bright merlot which made sense after you realise that 2009 was a warm vintage for Washington. Plenty of lush juicy fruits to go around. It was toasty with a little vanilla. A little too plush for me. The balance was questionable too with a little too much tannins for my liking. OOo

Good toasty notes of brownies with plum, walnut and earthiness. This lush wine was well balanced with juicy fruitiness and hints of toasted nuts and chocolate. I would love to revisit!  OOOO

I did not realise I already had this before in the Washington tasting at SD Wine Co! It was amazing to discover the similarities in my notes!

Overall, wonderful experience. We are definitely coming back! Especially since a taste bud and I won free tasting the following Tuesday for France vs Italy! YEAYAY!

We ended in five guys next door

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