2014 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley Pinot Noir (Previously $65)

SKU #1240750 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* A stunning debut for this new boutique, a joint project between Jean-Nicolas Méo (Domaine Méo-Camuzet) and Jay Boberg, co-founder of the music label, IRS Records. Deep and penetrating fruit flavors of blackberry and raspberry are buttressed by ample, proportionate acids and tannins. There’s a graceful touch of fresh herb, along with black tea and clean loam.  (12/2016)

93 points Wine Spectator

 *#96 in Wine Spectator's Top 100 of 2016* Broad, expressive and light-footed, this brims with cherry, plum, licorice and cashew flavors that keep singing on the focused finish. Drink now through 2024.  (3/2016)

92 points Vinous

 Deep bright red. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red fruits, cola, Asian spices and rhubarb, plus a suave floral topnote. Juicy and focused on entry, then broader in the midpalate, offering appealingly sweet, supple red and dark berry and spicecake flavors and suggestions of candied flowers and mocha. Finishes sappy and very long, displaying repeating spiciness and smooth, slow-building tannins. This is quite an impressive wine for a "basic" bottling, much less a freshman effort. Jean-Nicolas Meo, who oversees his family’s famed Meo-Camuzet domaine in Burgundy, has partnered with music executive and wine lover Jay Boberg on this new project and they have purchased the highly regarded, steeply sloped Bishop Creek vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton. The site covers 66 acres but only 15 were planted to vines when the transaction was made. New plantings are already underway so look for production to steadily move up over the next decade. Fruit is also sourced from the Nysa vineyard and other sites across the Willamette Valley. The wines are being made at Adelsheim for now, under the care of Associate Winemaker Tracy Kendall, who worked at the winery from 2011 until joining up with Meo and Boberg in 2014 to launch their wines. These are early days but based on this 2014 and 2015s, that I tasted from barrel in August the style of the wines is more restrained and less opulent, even exotic than what one finds at Meo-Camuzet. (JR)  (11/2016)

K&L Notes

Neal Martin writes: "Oregon meet Burgundy, Burgundy meets Oregon with Nicolas Jay, the new joint-venture between former record label boss Jay Boberg and Burgundy vigneron Jean-Nicolas Meo of Domaine Meo-Camuzet in Vosne. They have known each other since 1988 when Jean-Nicolas was studying in the United States, though it was a visit to the region in 2011 that reignited Jay's interest in the region."

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- Highly touted for its Pinot Noirs, Oregon is part of the up-and-coming winemaking industry in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Most of Oregon is directly affected by the climate coming off of the Pacific Ocean, giving it mild winters and wet summers. This makes it a difficult place to ripen grapes, but some say that the harder grapes have to struggle, the more complex they will turn out to be. Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are two important and successful grapes grown in Oregon.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.5