thesis: 1,500-meter champion with a winning kick.
The Cliff Notes: A translucent ruby red, this wine aromatically is dark cherry with dust and spice. In the mouth it’s a starter’s pistol on a race to vibrancy, whereby mouthwatering acidity puts serious legs under red and black fruits and propels them across the middle distance of your palate.
Cases Produced: 1316
The Name: Provocateur: Requires a willingness to stir the pot.
A Story: Why NV (non-vintage) instead of 2010 Provocateur? Because this wine flies, and the 2010 harvest yield was 35% lower than a typical year. Because we needed to get to a minimum number of cases or face a customer riot. Because we held a few barrels from the relatively large 2009 vintage (from Vespidae, our flagship bottling), yet our grudging inclusion tipped the wine over the “maximum 5% from another vintage” federal label requirement. First and foremost, though, we did it because it made the wine really F’ing good.
The Building of: Small-lot wild yeast fermentations in open-top stainless steel tanks. Limited pre-ferment maceration, followed by minimal, but targeted, temperature and punchdown intervention. 100% barrel aged for 17 months in French oak: 8% new, 11% one year, 13% two year, 68% older. Racked and bottled, unfined, in February of 2012.
Ageability: Drink now to five years and think about getting it some air in the first three.
Vineyards: A blend of eight vineyards, Gemini (19 years), Eola Hills (12 years), Temperance Hill (30 years), Black Walnut (7 years), Shea (13 years), Anderson Family (20 years), Huntington Hill (3 years) and Louis Vineyard (6 years) some of the best in the state.
$22/bottle case & club price