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J.K. Carriere Wines 2018 Provocateur Pinot Noir

Getting bit by the winemaking bug

When you arrive at J.K. Carriere, the owner and winemaker will introduce himself like this: “My name is Jim Prosser and I started this beautiful mess.” He’s a mad scientist winemaker who made it in commercial real estate, only to give it all up to join the Peace Corps and, later, travel the world making wine (in four countries so far.)

For Jim, making wine isn’t exactly the bucolic life in the vineyards we might imagine.

Take a look at any bottle of J.K. Carriere wine, and you’ll see an illustration of the vespidae, wasps commonly found in vineyards. They include yellowjackets and hornets, or as Jim puts it, “the family of wasps trying to kill me.”

As it turns out, Jim has a near-fatal allergy, and he’s come close to death on two occasions.

Fortunately for us, Jim is winning his fight with the vespidae (in no small part because his vineyard is helpfully located just up the hill from the hospital in Newberg.)

The next time you’re in the Willamette Valley, take a little detour before you hit Newberg, get off the highway and visit this winery high in the hills with stunning views of the valley. Just watch out for the vespidae!

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

J.K. Carriere Wines, Newberg, Oregon
2018 Provocateur Pinot Noir

Jim always has a good story, and this one? Well, he describes the wine as a troublemaker –caught between two styles. As he put it: “The growing year of 2018 was sunny, warm and powerful, offering a smaller-ish crop, a veritable bruiser, headed for a boozer. Luckily, early September stepped in with some refrain, just in the nick of time, and gave us a week of chill temps that reined in the grapes.”

Ever stood in an orchard and plucked a cherry right from the tree into your mouth? That’s the feel you’ll get with the first sip, vibrant acid with a punch of fruit. You’ll notice as you continue to drink that those cherry flavors are accented by aromas of spice and grilled meat – or maybe that’s because you’ve already got something charring on the barbecue.

Vibrant acid with a hint of salinity and the long finish means you’ll be thinking about this wine long after it is gone. Drink half a bottle tonight and half again tomorrow – a little air will do this wine good. Or, if you must drink it all tonight, do a taste test and aerate one glass. Decide for yourself!

A Cellar 503 selection in April 2020, Deep Roots Coalition Willamette Valley | Pinot Noir