J. K. Carriere "Vespidae" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2016

$43.99

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A Story: Vespidae (ves-puh-day): Latin name of the family of wasp trying to kill me.

The Cliff Notes: The wine throws deep, saturated garnet color. The nose is dark Bing cherry, clove, black pepper, beef broth and dried mushrooms with a hint of snuff and agave. The palate presents as super energetic acidity and concentrated red fruit (as in, just-ripe cherry), with incredible length and persistence.

The Vintage: The 2016 growing year took off like a bottle rocket. Early, pre-veraison, it eclipsed the same heat degree days of the three warmest vintages on the books: 2015, 2014 and 2003. Then, and this is the critical part, it mellowed out, with lower heat throughout color-change, ripening and harvest. The net results are wines of good ripeness that preserve all the acid linearity of a slightly cooler year. Ha, we’ll take it.

The Building of: Six- to eight-barrel-lot, wild-yeast fermentations in stainless steel, 100% barrel aged for 17 months: 30% new, 18% one year, 16% two year, 36% three year or older. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in March 2018.

Ageability: We absolutely recommend that you consider decanting to get it some air within its first three years. This wine should easily climb in complexity beyond ten years.

Vineyards: This is our flagship bottling and represents three very pure vineyards: Our St. Dolores Estate (8 years) brought structure plus juicy, Temperance Hill (37 years) brought old-vine complexity on beautiful acid, and Gemini (25 years) brought sleek and powerful fruit.