The Cliff Notes: Moderate cherry in color, this wine smells like an earthy-smoky plum and juniper berry jam. It’s big and available, throwing savory spice and pepper jerky as a precursor to dusty cherry. Not lacking acidity, but it’s surprisingly resolved in a rustic balance of peat, grain, malt, dark oak, blueberry, spice and Oreo cookie. There’s a good balance of sweetness to savory with the third leg of acid just shy and fine tannins in context to respect the overall vintage.
Cases Produced: 876 cases of our flagship.
A Story: Class: Insecta, Order: Hymenoptera, Family: Vespidae, Reaction: Anaphylaxis, Result: Mors (death). Yes, such sweet Latin names for the little f*^#!rs that keep trying to kill me. We strive to be real here at JKC, so I thought it fitting that our flagship wine, which already pays homage to my wasp nemesis, should now also bear its Vespidae name.
Vintage: 2009 in Oregon was a warm vintage pushing the needle towards the power side of the power/grace divide of Pinot noir. Ripe with upfront available fruit is the nature of the year. Too much is not the same as balance, and fruit leather poppers not being our endgame, it required pulling in the reins to gain plush, but avoid overripe, boozy and jammy.
The building of: Six- to eight-barrel-lot wild yeast fermentations in stainless steel, 100% barrel aged for 19 months, 18% new/23% one year/59% three year or older. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in April of 2011.
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 towards and likely beyond ten years.
Vineyards: Temperance Hill (30 years) brought old-vine complexity, Shea Vineyard (12 years) ripe dark fruit, Black Walnut (7 years) earth, Gemini Vineyard (18 years) massive red, and Anderson Family (19 years) hi-tone and spice.