|Owner(s)||Jay Boberg, Jean-Nicolas Méo|
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Jay Boberg first met Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo 30 years ago when they attended the same university in the United States. They remained friends over the ensuing years as Jean-Nicolas took over as the winemaker at his family’s Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Burgundy, where he was mentored by legendary winemaker Henri Jayer who was a leaseholder in the family estate. His style of balance and finesse, fruit and elegance rather than stalkiness and tannin, catapulted Méo-Camuzet to fame.
Jay carved out his own success as cofounder of the indie record label IRS Records, and later as president of MCA/Universal Records. As he began winding down his full time role in the music industry, he approached Jean-Nicolas about starting a winery together in the Willamette Valley.
Jean-Nicolas now spends nearly two months in Oregon each season, traveling to the region throughout spring, summer and harvest to oversee the viticulture and winemaking. Jay spends up to six months each year in Oregon working in the vineyards and winery alongside Jean-Nicolas and the winery’s associate winemaker, Tracy Kendall, a former enologist with Adelsheim where the Nicolas-Jay wines are vinified.
The winery’s Pinot Noir is made using grapes from the estate Bishop Creek Vineyard located in the Yamhill- Carlton AVA, as well as grapes from other top Willamette Valley vineyards such as Nysa, Momtazi and Zenith. The 13.5-acre Bishop Creek Vineyard includes 11 acres of clone 777, Wädenswil, Pommard and 667, with the majority planted in 1988 and 1990 that are own-rooted. The youngest plantings are from 2002. Since the vineyard was acquired in 2014, it has been farmed organically. Jay and Jean-Nicolas are pictured below at Bishop Creek Vineyard.
2014 Nicolas-Jay Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., pH 3.63, TA 0.56, 1,691 cases, $65. Released April 2015. 100% de-stemmed, 5 to 7-day cold soak, slow native fermentation, pump-overs early on to accentuate weight, body and flavor while keeping berries intact and reducing the influence of seed and skin tannins, followed later in fermentation when close to dry by punchp-downs to build tannic structure. The wine was aged 15 months in French oak barrels, the same coopers and barrels that Jean-Nicolas selects for his Méo-Camuzet wines, 33% new. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile offering scents of dark red cherries and berries, sandstone and savory herbs. The silky texture is mesmerizing and clearly the most outstanding feature of this wine. Mid weight plus in style, with flavors of purple and black fruits that make an impression on the attack and carry through to a persistent finish that slips off the back of the palate. When tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the balance was clearly admirable, the seductive texture pleasing, and the finish was remarkably long. Score: 93. Reviewed October 2, 2016 ARTICLE »