Thesis: A train, a powerful locomotive delivering the goods.
The Cliff Notes: Vespidae (ves-puh-day) – the Latin name of the family of wasp trying to kill me – is Jewel-tone cherry in color. The nose is bright cherry-raspberry with red-green esters and cedar spice. The palate is plush, vibrant, and pure with all-around-the-mouth tannins pushing this linear red into the future.
The Vintage: The 2014 growing season in Oregon was warm and generous with an early and truncated harvest delivering abundant yields. It required absolute coordination, timing, and capacity to put up all that perfect fruit into maxed-out tanks within a ten-day picking window or face boozy sugar accumulation and the possibility of acid falling off a cliff. I’d point to these most recent 2016 Summer Olympics as proof that it’s better to have been on your game than go all flabby.
Cases Produced: 1364 cases of this, our flagship.
The Building of: Six- to eight-barrel-lot, wild-yeast fermentations in stainless steel, 100% barrel aged for 17 months: 21% new, 8% one year, 5% two year, 66% three year or older. Bottled unfined and unfiltered in late February 2016.
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 beyond ten years.
Vineyards: St. Dolores Estate (6 years), our estate vineyard, brought juicy cherry and structure, Temperance Hill (35 years) brought old-vine complexity, Shea Vineyard (16 years) ripe dark fruit, and Gemini Vineyard (23 years) fresh acidity.
— Jim Prosser, owner/winemaker