Price: $65
Case or club: $57
1.5-l magnum: $150

    

Thesis: I’d call my mule Molasses.

The Cliff Notes: The color in glass is light garnet. On the nose it’s peach-cherry esters, molasses and funk. The attack is bombastic, but on a light frame, whereby easy medium-concentrated cherry meets peach- pit structure and moves the wine toward serious.

A Story: It looks so easy. Five months of beautiful growing weather delivered nearly-ripe at the point of a heavier-than-expected early first rain, which split a fair few berries. Good and bad happened, flavor was pushed in and rot touched off. I’d not seen it in Oregon, but thought it critical, as in 1993 Burgundy, to triage. It required an intern and me, hours before harvest, with forceps in the vineyard, laboriously cutting it out. Best is seldom the path of easy.

The Building of: Small-lot wild yeast fermentations, 100% barrel aged for 18 months in French oak barrels (one new, one twice-filled, three older ). Bottled unfined and unfiltered in February of 2015.

Ageability: Absolutely decant it to get it air within its first 3 years. Well cellared, you should anticipate additional complexity during its first 10 years. with a potential 12- to 15-year drinking horizon.

Cases Produced: 122

Alcohol: 12.5%

pH: 3.57

Vineyards: At Shea Vineyards ours is a 3-acre, mid-slope east block of 15-year-old, Dijon clone 777 Pinot noir. The site is warm and early, ensuring fruit of optimal ripeness and opulence in bottle. These are the five best barrels.

— Jim Prosser, owner/winemaker