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2016 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley

  • Producer
  • Vintage
  • Grape Variety
    Pinot Noir
  • Region
    United States
  • Sub Region
  • Types
  • Size

As the owner and winemaker of the Côte d’Or’s famed Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Jean- Nicolas Méo’s path to Oregon’s Willamette Valley first went through the great grands crus of Burgundy, where he spent nearly 30 years making wines from legendary vineyards like Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot, Corton Clos Rognet and Échezeaux. In 2012, inspired by a three-decade interest in the quality and potential of Oregon’s Pinot Noirs, Jean-Nicolas partnered with his longtime friend, Jay Boberg, to found Nicolas-Jay in the Willamette Valley. At Nicolas-Jay, Jean-Nicolas applies insights gained from his experience making Pinot Noirs from some of the world’s greatest winegrowing sites to craft exciting and elegant Pinot Noirs that authentically show the terroir of the Willamette Valley, and some of its very finest vineyards.

Jean-Nicolas began his career in wine in 1989, when he left Paris and moved to Burgundy to guide his family’s domaine. As many of the métayeurs (sharecroppers) who leased his family’s coveted vineyard land began to retire, Jean-Nicolas made the decision to slowly start reclaiming the land for Méo-Camuzet’s own bottlings. This was a bold new direction for a domaine that had long been overseen from Paris. Finding that he enjoyed the rhythms of country life, and the challenges of running a winery, Jean-Nicolas began a period of intense modernization. To help during this period of transition, Jean-Nicolas was mentored by the great Henri Jayer, who had been making wines from some of Méo-Camuzet’s finest parcels for decades. From Henri, Jean-Nicolas gained a deep and lasting love of wine, and an appreciation for the more sensual side of Pinot Noir. At the same time, he began defining his own signature style, with an emphasis on depth, refinement and impeccable balance—a style that has catapulted Méo-Camuzet to fame, and earned Jean-Nicolas respect as one of the finest Pinot Noir winemakers in the world.

Tasting Notes

92 Points John Gilman

The 2016 Pinot Noir ‘Willamette Valley’ from Nicolas-Jay is a lovely young wine, offering up impressive sappiness and precision in its bouquet of red and black cherries, a bit of beetroot, a fine base of soil, wood smoke, hints of mustard seed and thyme and a very well-done framing of spicy new oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and very nicely balanced, with a sappy core, fine transparency, ripe, seamless tannins and a long, tangy and nascently complex finish. This is so well-balanced that it is quite easy to drink in its youth, but the wine has plenty waiting in the wings and I would recommend letting it build in complexity with some bottle age. Fine, fine juice.

The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar
The Envied Cellar