In the heart of the Columbia Valley, Dionysus Block 18 enjoys breathtaking views alongside the Columbia River. Its southwest facing slopes of sand over deep gravel beds are ideal soils for exacting irrigation. Block 18 was planted in 2000 to clone #8 Cabernet Sauvignon on Dionysus’ SW hillside, 1,000 yards from the Columbia River. We designed this reserve cuvée to show off Dionysus Vineyard’s character through Cabernet Sauvignon’s singular best expression. This bottling is among our most powerful and age worthy red wines. Concentrated and filled with ripe fruit it will deliver pleasure decades to all who pursue Cabernet’s special gifts.
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 an 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 Cabernet Sauvignon was 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 22 days two tanks which we felt were the best of the vineyard and showing the best of the harvest tanks. The vintage was measured for anthocyanins and tannins daily allowing us a perfect balance of extractables to build into these two special reserves. Fermentation completed in new GAMBA 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. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon the wine describes Cabernet at its most gorgeous and pure vintage expression. This rich wine will age for a decade or two, enjoyable with a host of foods throughout those seasons.
CASES PRODUCED 576 6-pack cases/750mL
TECHNICAL DATA Bottled: August 7, 2019 • Alcohol: 14.8% by volume • pH: 3.95 • TA: 6.0 • RS: 0.2%