Owner/winemaker Jim Prosser has settled into his brand new winery on Parrett Mountain. He tends to release his wines later than most so that his current vintage is 2007. However, the 2008s are in bottle, and Prosser was kind enough to present them as well.
The current collection includes one white wine, the 2008 Chardonnay (91 points) sourced from the Temperance Hill Vineyard and aged in neutral oak. Light gold in color, it offers up a multi-dimensional nose of mineral, pear, melon, and toasted nuts. Medium to full-bodied, it exhibits layered fruit, a creamy texture, savory flavors and good volume in a style reminiscent of Meursault. This ripe, lengthy effort is likely to evolve for 1-2 years and can be enjoyed through 2016 if not longer.
The J.K. Carriere Pinot Noirs are fermented with native yeasts and bottled without fining or filtration. The lineup begins with the 2007 Pinot Noir Anderson Family (90 points), a medium ruby colored offering. It exhibits a pleasing perfume of cedar, underbrush, spice box, strawberry, and raspberry. Relatively forward on the palate, it has ample racy red fruits, a lively acid underpinning, good balance and a seamless finish. It will provide pleasure over the next 5 years. The 2007 Pinot Noir Antoinette (89 points) was sourced from the Temperance Hill Vineyard with average vine age of 28 years. It offers an herbal and pine-accented bouquet characteristic of the vineyard and the vintage. It also displays scents of underbrush, strawberry, rhubarb, and cherry leading to a forward, vibrant wine with excellent balance and length. Its firm acid structure should allow it to be consumed over the next 6-8 years. The 2007 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard (92 points) is medium crimson-colored with an expressive nose of cherry blossom, spice box, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry. Sweetly-fruited with a bit of underlying structure (some ripe tannin and lively acidity), this is an elegant yet mouth-filling effort from one of the Willamette Valley’s premier sites. It will reward 2-3 years of cellaring and provide pleasure through 2020. The 2007 Pinot Noir Gemini Vineyard (92 points) surrenders a smoky, brooding bouquet of darker fruits unusual for the vintage. It is the most ripe and round of Prosser’s 2007s with plenty of succulent mid-palate fruit, a firm structure, savory flavors, and plenty of finesse. This lengthy effort will be at its best from 2012 to 2019.
J.K. Carriere’s 2008s are at another level because of the greatness of the vintage. The 2008 Pinot Noir Provocateur (91 points) contains wine from all 8 of the vineyards utilized by Prosser. This had the effect of reducing the quantity of the more expensive single vineyard cuvees and doubling the quantity of Provocateur which is value priced, a sign of the tough market for premium wines but obviously great for the consumer. The wine is medium ruby-colored with a fragrant perfume of cedar, spice box, incense, cherry, and raspberry. Mouth-filling on the palate with excellent concentration, this savory effort has layers of the succulent fruit, an elegant personality, moderate structure, and 2-3 years of aging potential It is a great value in Pinot Noir. The 2008 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (92 points) is a blend of 7 vineyards aged in 20% new oak. It sports a lovely bouquet of balsam wood, cinnamon, allspice, incense, black cherry and black currant. On the palate it has excellent volume, displays incipient complexity, is densely packed, and has 2-3 years of aging potential. This savory, ripe offering will provide pleasure from 2012 to 2020. The 2008 Pinot Noir Anderson Family (91+ points) is light to medium ruby in color with a reticent nose of smoky black fruits and spice. On the palate meaty, savory notes emerge from the wine’s smooth texture and lead to a medium-long, fruit-filled finish. It needs several years to unwind and reveal its full potential. The 2008 Pinot Noir Antoinette (90+ points) was sourced from 29-year-old vines. The aromatics reveal an herbal note along with cinnamon, clove, and an assortment of red and black fruits. Dense, ripe, and structured, this packed effort will also require patience. It can be approached now because of its succulence, but there is much more to come (as it true for most of the finest 2008s). There are 75 cases of the opulent 2008 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard (93 points). Dark ruby/purple in color, it displays an already complex aromatic array of sandalwood, wild berries, Asian spices, incense, black cherry, and blueberry. On the palate it reveals terrific volume, vibrant acidity, ample ripe tannin, precision, and a velvety texture. This hedonistic effort has several years of aging potential and a seamless finish. It will deliver pleasure through 2023, possibly longer. The 2008 Pinot Noir Gemini Vineyard (93 points) (one barrel produced) is medium ruby red with an alluring bouquet of cedar, spice box, cherry blossom, and black raspberry. The most structured wine of the portfolio, this savory, powerful Pinot demands 4-5 years of cellaring. This is a case in which patience will be well rewarded.
As an aside, to those who might question the longevity of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Prosser opened a 1999 (the vintage most frequently compared to 2008). Dark ruby in color, it gives up a slightly roasted, already complex perfume of black fruit confiture. Right at its peak with another 10-15 years of life ahead, this is a sneak preview of what you’ll be getting when the better 2008s reach age 10. -- Jay Miller
Jim Prosser, owner/winemaker of J.K. Carriere, was well into the construction of his new winery hopefully to be ready for the 2009 crush when I met up with him. Prosser’s policy is to hold back his vineyard designated wines for an extra year, so the current releases are 2006s.
The medium ruby-colored 2007 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley (91 points) was aged in 20% new oak. It exhibits an enticing perfume of cedar, cinnamon, allspice, cherry, and raspberry. On the palate it is smooth-textured, elegant and savory. It has enough ripe tannin to support another 1-2 years of cellaring and it should drink well through 2017. The 2006 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard (92 points) was picked earlier than most of the Shea blocks. It offers up some mineral and earth notes along with black cherry and black raspberry. On the palate it is seamless, ripe and intense, large-scaled yet elegant. This plush effort will drink well through 2018. The 2006 Pinot Noir Gemini Vineyard (91 points) comes down more on the red fruit side of the spectrum. Aromas of cedar, spice box, cherry and raspberry lead to a medium to full-bodied wine with excellent depth, savory flavors, impeccable balance, and a lengthy fruit-filled finish. It can be enjoyed over the next 8 years. The 2006 Pinot Noir Antoinette (92 points)was sourced from the Temperance Hill Vineyard. The bouquet displays a touch of roasted herbs (sage, thyme), mineral and earth notes along with plenty of black fruit. Round and layered on the palate, it conceals enough structure to support 1-2 years of additional bottle age. This lengthy, complex effort will offer a drinking window extending from 2010 to 2018. The 2006 Pinot Noir Anderson Vineyard (91 points) was produced from Dijon clone 115. Aromas of earth, cocoa/coffee, iron and assorted black fruits lead to a medium to full-bodied, fleshy Pinot with plenty of savory earthy, black fruit flavors, ripe tannin and a supple palate feel. Drink this lengthy effort through 2018. -- Jay Miller
The International Wine Review
J.K. Carriere Wines. Jim Prosser is winemaker and proprietor of JK Carriere wines. Born in Oregon, he learned winemaking working for Erath, Domaine Drouhin, Brick House and Chehalem and at other wineries in New Zealand, Australia and Burgundy. He established his own winemaking venture in 1999 and today produces some of the finest Pinot Noir in Oregon. His grapes are sourced from the top vineyards in the Willamette Valley and his wines are classic Oregon Pinot Noir in style.
J.K. Carriere Wines 2006 Pinot Noir Antoinette Limited Bottling Eola-Amity Hills ($75) 93
- The Pinot Noir Antoinette is made of 100% Temperance Hill Vineyard fruit. It is dark ruby opaque with big aromas of pure dark cherry, blueberry and violets with a black pepper note. It is a blockbuster Pinot on the palate with lovely, concentrated spicy dark cherry fruit, loam and charred oak notes. Finishes with a firm tannic grip and lingering purity of fruit. A great wine.
J.K. Carriere Wines 2005 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley ($50) 91
-Dark ruby with fragrant aromas of spicy dark fruit, minerals, loam and milk chocolate. Soft and lush on the attack with more dark fruit flavors, loam, and a bitter chocolate edge. Finishes long with prominent, slightly rustic tannins. Would benefit from more time in bottle.
Liner & Elsen Wine Wine Merchants,
2006 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
January 2009 newsletter
2006 J.K. Carriere, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
J.K. Carriere owner-winemaker Jim Prosser studied under some of the best: Véronique Drouhin of Domaine Drouhin Oregon, Doug Tunnell of Brick House Winery and Christophe Roumier of Dom. George Roumier in Burgundy. Since launching his own label in 1999, Prosser has distinguished himself as one of Oregon’s most dedicated and talented vignerons. While many of Oregon’s 2006 Pinots are charming, precocious and built for immediate drinking, Carriere’s is the rara avis
that has structure, backbone and grip. A gorgeous ruby color in the glass, Carriere’s ’06 Pinot opens with aromas of plums, pomegranate and earthy cranberries. On the palate, it leaves many of its vintage brethren in the dust. Here the wine complements its red fruit core with graphite minerality, firm tannins and spine tingling acidity. Long, bracing and mineral-driven on the finish, Carriere’s ’06 is for those who like Oregon Pinot minerally, red-fruited and bristling with food-friendly acidity. Enjoy this beauty from the 2006 vintage now with hearty game birds and rich fare, or cellar it five to ten years to allow all its components to come into harmony and develop the elegance and texture that only time can bring. This is reference point Willamette Valley Pinot Noir.
2005 J.K. Carriere
The Wine Advocate,
October 30, 2008
By Dr. Jay Miller
Jim Prosser is the man behind the J.K. Carriere Wines. Like a few of his colleagues, he prefers to hold back his upper tier wines for a year to allow further development. The only 2006 currently on the market is the entry-level 2006 Pinot Noir Provocateur
(88 points). It exhibits an expressive bouquet of cedar, spice box, and red fruits. On the palate, this medium-bodied effort has good depth of flavor and enough structure to evolve for 1-2 years. It is just a bit thin in the finish. Prosser’s 2005 Pinots are among the better wines of the vintage as he was able to achieve balance, a formidable task in that challenging year. The dark ruby-colored 2005 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
(90+ points) offers an alluring perfume of cigar box, leather, spice, and dark fruits. This leads to a structured wine with enough spice, savory red fruit for balance. It will be better with 2-4 years of cellaring. Drink it from 2010 to 2018. The 2005 Pinot Noir Antoinette
(90+ points) was sourced from the well-known Temperance Hill Vineyard, a relatively high, cool site. The wine reveals Temperance Hill’s characteristic herbaceousness as well as firm tannins and bracing acidity. The flavors are attractive but the question here, as with many 2005s, is how long will the wine remain in balance. Caution suggest drinking the wine sooner rather than later. The 2005 Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard
(91 points) exhibits earth notes, spice box, and cherry. On the palate the wine is ripe and flavorful with good depth and excellent balance. It will benefit from 2-3 years of cellaring and be at its best from 2010 to 2018. Even better is the 2005 Pinot Noir Anderson Family
(92 points) produced from Dijon clone 115. Dark ruby/purple-colored, it offers up aromas of smoke, spice box, black cherry, and black raspberry. This is followed by a medium-bodied wine that is sweet, ripe, and layered, no mean feat in 2005. Give it 4-6 years and drink it from 2012 to 2020. It is one of the stars of the vintage.
2003 Provocateur Pinot Noir
June 5, 2005
By Matt Kramer
Provocateur Pinot Noir 2003, J.K. Carriere:
Owner-winemaker Jim Prosser
is one of a growing band of Oregon producers who don’t own any vineyards
themselves but manage to issue some of Oregon’s best wine. This is thanks not
only to their abilities as winemakers but also to the ever-expanding array of
vineyards from which they can source grapes. In the tricky (because it was so
hot) 2003 vintage, Prosser knew what he was doing. His 2003 pinot noir,
brand-named Provocateur, is an exceptional wine: rich, with a dense, powerful
midpalate and a brush – but not a bruising – of 2003’s substantial tannins. More
than drinkable now, this wine really will shine in another year or so. Right now
it’s all about intense wild cherry flavor, deft acidity and, yes, a bit of
tannin. It’s a very successful 2003 Oregon pinot noir sourced from five
vineyards. This is a wine worth hunting down. $18.95.
2002 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
E&R Wine Shop,
Best red wine of 2004
Liner & Elsen Wine Merchants,
By Peter Gibson, May 2005
I met Jim Prosser (he of the well-coiffed bed head) in 1999 over dinner at the
Ponzi café with Véronique Drouhin and my harvest mates that year at Domaine
Drouhin. Jim approached our table with a swagger that would’ve made James Cagney
blush. He exuded a confidence rarely encountered in self-effacing Oregon
vignerons. Initially I was put off, but little did I know that he’d worked for
Véronique previously and had also done stages in New Zealand, Australia and at
Domaine George Roumier in Burgundy. That year Prosser was working for Doug
Tunnell at Brick House while also making his debut wine for his J.K. Carriere
label. This man works hard, his experience is impeccable, and his confidence
We sold Jim’s inaugural 1999 Pinot by the caseload before he got the big press.
On one of his many deliveries – he delivered his own wine in those days – he
asked us with amazement what we were doing to sell so much of his wine. We
answered simply that we liked it. Fortunately, his auspicious début was no flash
in the pan; Jim’s dedication has not waned, and his wines continue to be among
the elite each and every vintage.
With the 2002 J.K. Carriere
we have Oregon Pinot in the style of Clos
Vougeot: deep, dark and mysterious. Black fruits like boysenberries and black
cherries intermingle with high-toned red fruits like red currants. As with a
good Clos Vougeot, there’s structure, poise, reserve and austerity behind and in
support of the wine’s fruit expression. Neither the fruit nor the structure
overwhelms the other, but rather seem to work together to achieve a sense of
both power and harmony.
The core of the wine contains a mineral component akin to lead pencil that adds
complexity to the bright, sappy fruit. I also find the faintest hint of stems on
the back-palate, à la Dujac, which brings even further dimension to the wine.
The finish is long, elegant and firm, with a reprise of the lead pencil
minerality. While one can certainly enjoy this wine in its youth, I advise
cellar time of five to ten years. Jim ferments with wild yeasts and does not
inoculate to induce malolactic fermentation, but rather allows it to occur
naturally. I believe that these choices will work to the wine’s benefit and give
added complexity to the wine as it ages in the cellar.
- September 19, 2004
J.K. Carriere Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Provocateur 2002, $18
The 2002 vintage in the Willamette Valley is proving to be a blockbuster year,
at least with respect to pinot noir. Collectively, the pinot noirs are dark and
fully ripe-tasting, which isn't such a bad thing. The lesser wines are at least
fruity, if one-dimensional. But the better bottlings have layers of flavors and
plenty of them.
This small-production bottling, brand-named Provocateur, is from owner-winemaker
Jim Prosser. (The winery name, J.K. Carriere, is derived from the names of his
grandfathers.) Prosser buys grapes from various vineyards; Provocateur is a
blend of four Willamette Valley vineyards.
The result is a sleek, beautifully delineated pinot noir of real substance and
finesse. You'll find powerful whiffs of blackberry, black cherry and red currant
allied to excellent balance. Production is small (459 cases) and distribution
limited, but this is an Oregon pinot noir worth hunting down. I've had 2002
Oregon pinots asking twice this price that weren't half as good. It's a genuine
bargain at $18 a bottle. -- Matt Kramer
The San Francisco Chronicle
- October 14, 2004
The Chronicle’s Wine Selections: The panel’s picks for Oregon Pinot Noir
priced less than $30, from 2000, 2001, and 2002.
2002 J.K. Carriere Provocateur Willamette Valley Pinot Noir: Rose, black cherry,
cinnamon and earth nose; coating tannins; nicely balanced with long finish. Low
production, winery only.
2001 Willamette Valley
- May 31, 2003
90, J.K. Carriere Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2001, $36
Juicy, spicy style offers pepper-scented currant and berry flavors, finishing
with fine-grained tannins and a deft touch of acidity. Drink now through 2008.
1,100 cases made. -H.S.
La Revue du vin de France
- No. 469, Mars 2003
Oregon : le mystère des pinots de l'Ouest
Planté au nord de la Californie sous la même latitude que la Côte d'Or, ce
vignoble de pinot noir s'est affranchi de l'influence bourguignonne. Animé par
l'espirit des pionniers, il ne cesse de progresser.
Par Isabelle Bachelard
4 of 5 stars
J.K. Carriere Stony Mountain 2001
Ce vin do coeau est un des plus sophistiqués : desité et finesse d'un
chambolle-musigny. Pour son deuxième millésime en tant que
négociant-vinificatuer, Jim Prosser affiche sa maîtrise.
Complex aromas of black fruits, mint and toast. Warm and spicy on the palate,
with rich flavors of black fruits and cola. Juicy, yet restrained; cellar 2-3
years for additional complexity. Highly recommended.
Wine & Spirits
- January/February 2004, p. 58
89, J.K. Carriere 2001 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, $36
Earthy tannins and fruit are both in abundance, but the tannins take preeminence
for now; the beautiful raspberry fruit, accented by scents of cardamom, is
grounded by a raspy earthiness. It may integrate with some time in the bottle.
(1,100 cases) J.K. Carriere LLC, Newberg, OR
San Francisco Chronicle
- Sept. 11, 2003
The Chronicle's Wine Selections: Oregon Pinot Noir
The panel's picks: 2001 J.K. Carriere Wines Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
"Violets and roses lead to blueberry and raspberry nose, similar flavors plus
cherry, olive and lime, nice texture, velvety but with an acidic kick on the
- May 15, 2004
89, J.K. Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Provocateur 2001, $18
Polished, refined style offers black cherry and gentle spice notes that mingle
and linger enticingly, adding a tarry, mineral touch at the very end. Drink now
through 2010. 176 cases made. - H.S.
2000 Willamette Valley
- June 15, 2002
89, J.K. Carriere Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 2000, $36
Light, open-textured and appealing for its juicy blackberry, blueberry and
currant flavors, which echo nicely on the fine-grained finish along with a hint
of vanilla. Drink now through 2007. 740 cases made. -H.S.
Wine & Spirits
- February 2003
90, J.K. Carriere 2000 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
A friend was so impressed with a Carriere wine he'd had in a Portland restaurant
that he took the cork home and called the number printed on it - only to get the
winemaker, Jim Prosser, on his cell phone. That's the Oregon scene in a
nutshell: small town, high tech, old fashioned. Prosser built this 2000 from two
vineyard sites, Corral Creek and Stony Mountain, and the result is a wine
expressive of Willamette character, its high-toned strawberry fruit joined at
the hip with dusty red earth that lasts. (740 cases) J.K. Carriere LLC, Newberg,
Clive Coates, The Vine, No. 216
- January 2003
"I regularly mark highly some wines, such as the Drouhin Laurene and those of
Panther Creek, Ken Wright and the new super-star Jim Prosser of J.K. Carriere.
Others seem to score one year and disappoint the next."
J.K. Carriere, Willamette Valley - 2005-2015 - 17.5 [of 20]
Fullish colour. Good class, depth and intensity on the nose. Fullish bodied,
ripe, balanced and vigorous. Still a little tannin. Lovely fruit. This has very
good depth, very good grip and no lack of flair. Lovely long, meaty finish.
The Wine Club San Francisco
J.K. Carriere 2000 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley, Oregon
The highest compliment I can give a wine is to say that it has a 'sense of
place'. This would be our homespun term for what can be best described as a
wine's terrior coupled with its own distinct personality. J.K. Carriere's Pinot
Noir is full of a personality that is rooted in its appellation, Yamhill County
in Willamette Valley in Oregon. Yamhill County is an area known for making some
of the most elegant Pinot outside the Cote D'Or. Carriere is nestled among the
appellation's top producers and has proven itself among such exalted peers. The
success of J.K.Carriere is a result of its winemaker/owner Jim Prosser. Clive
Coates has called Prosser no less than a super-star, and the acclaim is
well-deserved. Prosser has apprenticed in the best cellars from Burgundy to
Brickhouse all in his pursuit to make great Pinot. He believes Pinot is defined
by elegance and movement on the palate, that a great bottle of Pinot is no less
than "a celebration of things that are small, hand-made and good to be around."
When I taste Carriere's Pinot I am impressed by the craftsmanship that has
created such an elegant, yet powerful Pinot. In these first two vintages, the
Carriere already shows a distinct personality of black fruits, cherries and
currants balanced with black pepper. Critics like Wine Spectator, Clive Coates
and NW Palate use words like rich, vigorous, tempting, complex, and impressive
to describe Prosser's Pinot. I would describe the Carriere as having a very
distinct 'sense of place'.
- Jay Latham, The Wine Club San Francisco
Clive Coates, The Vine, No. 216
- January 2003
J.K. Carriere, Isabella - 2005-2015 - 18 [of 20]
Full, youthful colour. Still very purple. Lots of Pinot noir class on the nose
here. A touch of oak. Rich and concentrated. This is very promising. Fullish
body. Rich, vigorous and profound, Lovely fruit. Very good grip. Still a little
tannin. Really fine, concentrated fruit here. Lots of dimension. Fine plus.
90, Pinot Noir Willamette Valley Isabella 2000, $65
Jim Prosser started making his own wines in 1999. He named this special bottling
after a niece who arrived on the same day as the fruit. The wine is
firm-textured, with a chewy edge to the wild cherry and mushroom flavors, which
echo impressively on the finish. Drink now through 2008. 42 cases made. -H.S.
1999 Willamette Valley
- June 15, 2001
91, J.K. Carriere Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 1999, $36
Rich, ripe and exotic in flavor, with a beautifully open texture that's supple
and silky. Wild berry, plum, and currant flavors swirl through the finish and
linger nicely. Tempting already. Best from 2003 through 2009. 500 cases made.
Clive Coates, The Vine, No. 203
- December 2001
Jim Prosser's first release. Full colour. Ripe, well-structured, just a little
four-square nose. Plenty of depth on the palate. Full body. Good Tannins. Very
good grip. Not four-square on the palate just backward. Lovely black fruit
flavours. It needs time. Very fine. A most impressive debut.