One of the great stories of Oregon wine is the influx of top talent from Burgundy, the motherland of pinot noir.
The knowledge and experience these Old World winemakers bring has elevated the state of winemaking overall here. Their involvement speaks strongly to the climate and soils of the Willamette Valley, which are exceptionally suitable for pinot noir, and to the flavors that our wines display.
It also helps cement Oregon as the premier New World source of pinot noir — you don’t see any of these folks working in California, do you?
These five winemakers are all considered to be in an elite league. Until now, just four of them have released Oregon wines:
Jacques Lardiere was the Louis Jadot winemaker for 42 vintages! Lardiere now makes wine from Oregon’s Resonance Vineyard, made notable due to many excellent bottlings of the fruit by Peter Rosback of Sineann.
Veronique Drouhin worked with her father making wine in France for years before taking the winemaking reins at DDO. Maison Drouhin was the earliest Burgundian to commit to the Oregon terroir, , producing their first Oregon pinot noir from the 1988 vintage.
Dominique Lafon makes the heralded wines from Compte Lafon, which are in high demand around the world, and his contributions to Oregon’s Evening Land helped that brand launch to prominence.
Louis-Michael Liger-Belair controls a family winemaking enterprise that includes La Romanee, a unique Grand Cru monopole, or vineyard owned entirely by one entity, unusual in Burgundy. Chapter 24 wines have benefited from his involvement.
Today we celebrate the launch of the Nicolas-Jay, the pinot noir from partners Nicolas Meo and Jay Broberg. This is the FIFTH rockstar Burgundian winemaker to choose Oregon for their New World wine.
As a special treat, I have assembled current releases from these five winemakers, including their Oregon wine AND one of their Burgundies.
All the Burgundies are delicious and can be approached now, but they will all also age. You can expect the Burgs to be somewhat more structured than many Oregon wine tend to be, with a fruit character that is completely unique to Burgundy. Note also that the wines chosen are “entry level” products from each producer — still delicious and worthy, but more affordable. Each of these producers makes top-end Grand Cru bottlings, but world demand for Burgundy is extremely strong, and those top-tier wines can cost hundreds of dollars, topping $1,000 per bottle in some cases. Some of those are available, too — call me for recommendations.
A Great Oregon Pinot Noir
from One More Star Winemaker
2014 Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir Willamette Valley
$65 / bottle
Wine Spectator 93
Burgundy Star Nicolas Meo of Domaine Méo-Camuzet Releases First Oregon Pinot Noir
The French Invasion Continues
I’m very pleased to be able to make an offer on the 2014 Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Bishop Creek Vineyard, the first wine released by the partnership of Nicolas Méo (Domaine Méo-Camuzet) and Jay Broberg, a California music industry exec who founded IRS Records and formerly headed up MCA Records.
Young Nicolas took over the family estate in the late 1980s, when Burgundy legend Henri Jayer was a leaseholder. Strongly influenced by the great man himself, Nicolas Meo built up the estate holdings and began producing wine, and quickly rose to a prominent status. Owning key parcels in Richebourg and Clos Vougeot didn’t hurt, and the association with Jayer was also beneficial. Those older bottles of Henri Jayer wine can sell for thousands of dollars at auction.
The Méo-Camuzet philosophy mirrors many of Jayer’s lessions, as explained by Nicolas in a Decanter article in 2006: “
“I like it when my wines have a velvety texture . . . As for my ideal style, I look for fruit and elegance rather than stalkiness and tannin. I also want there to be no contradiction between wines that taste good when they are young and when they are old – that is a lesson Jayer taught me. He believed a wine should taste good throughout its life, but some people have misinterpreted that to mean that a wine should give its all right from the start.
“I don’t like wines that are over-concentrated, as you lose elegance. I want balance and finesse, which are essential components of a great wine.”
Those words describe the new Nicolas-Jay pinot noir perfectly. Even at this young stage, the wine is exceptionally composed, perfectly balanced, and glides across the palate with great finesse, but also with scads of fruit flavor and excellent length. It is a very flavorful, harmonious wine that can be enjoyed now, or cellared for the medium term.
This inaugural release was given a 93 Points by The Wine Spectatorwith these notes: “”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.-H.S.”
Get the Nicolas-Jayand all the wines from this offer
Special Offer: One bottle of each wine — five Oregon pinot noirs and five Burgundies — 10% Off the ten-bottle case!
There’s More! Fill the case with two more bottles — any other wine we offer to make a full 12-pack — and get 10% off those, too!
Discount applied manually to your final e-receipt
2013 Meo-Camuzet Marsannay
$50 / bottle
Marsannay is part of the reknown Cote de Or, source of many of Burgundy’s finest wines. With no Premier or Grand Cru vineyards, the region can be overlooked — but savvy buyers know that amazing values can be had. The wine is fresh, fruit-driven and forward enough to enjoy now, but will certainly cellar for the medium term. Cool blue fruits accented by fine tannin and abundant minerality are the star, and the fresh, juicy personality personality makes this easy to like.
2013 Resonance Vineyard Pinot Noir
$65 / bottle
WS 93 Points
From the WS: “Light and focused, showing distinctive subtlety. A layer of crinkly tannins underlies a pulsing core of mineral-accented cherry and red berry flavors, hinting at cinnamon as the finish lingers gently. Best from 2017 through 2023.” 2,000 cases made.
2012 Jadot Pommard
$60 / bottle
Vinous 88 Points!
From Vinous: “Juicy and exuberant, the 2012 Pommard hits the palate with plenty of intensity and richness. Hard candy, sweet red berries, wild flowers and mint inform an opulent Pommard with plenty of immediacy and raciness. There is plenty of near and medium term appeal. In 2012, the Pommard includes some Commaraine fruit.”
2014 Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir Roserock
$37 / bottle
New Bottling by DDO!
This is the first bottlings from Domaine Drouhin’s new acquisition, the Roserock Vineyard – and it’s a beauty! Shimmering, vibrant red fruits and scintillating acidity create an explosive palate experience. The wine is very exciting and vigorous, approachable now, and shows future potential as well. This is a bit of a stylistic shift for Drouhin, and is actually somewhat reminiscent of their inaugural ’88. And, the price! It’s the most affordable bottling by this winery since . . . well, that ’88 cost less, back then. Given how tasty this is, fans should take advantage of what may well be introductory pricing on this winner.
2012 Joseph Drouhin Cote de Beaune
$50 / bottle
Vinous 89 Points!
From Vinous: “The 2012 Côte de Beaune is another pretty, entry-level Burgundy from Drouhin. The 2012 impresses for its expressive aromatics, bright red fruit and terrific overall balance. There is a lot to like here.”
2013 Evening Land PN Seven Springs Vineyard
Wine Spectator 92!
From the WS: “Crisp and tangy, with a mineral character running through the raspberry and cherry flavors at the core, coming together with harmony and structural tension on the vibrant finish. Best from 2017 through 2023. 3,054 cases made.”
2010 Dominique Lafon Volnay
$57 / bottle
Vinous 90 Points!
From Vinous: “Dominique Lafon’s 2010 Volnay is gorgeous. Salty veins of minerality support layers of vibrant red fruit in this articulate, precise wine. Sweet roses and flowers of all sorts add lift on the fresh, gracious finish. This is a fabulous wine for the money.”
2013 Chapter 24 Pinot Noir “Fire”
$63 / bottle
Wine Spectator 92!
From Vinous: “Dark red. An intensely perfumed bouquet evokes fresh dark berries, Indian spices and potpourri, with a cola nuance gaining strength with air. Juicy, expansive and sweet on the palate, offering focused black raspberry and cherry flavors and a suggestion of candied flowers. Shows very good clarity and lift on the finish, leaving a note of cherry-cola behind.”
From the Wine Spectator: ” Crisp and tangy, with a mineral character running through the raspberry and cherry flavors at the core, coming together with harmony and structural tension on the vibrant finish. Best from 2017 through 2023.-HS”
2013 Compte du Liger-Belair Bourgogne Rouge
“Lex Deux Terres”
$29 / bottle
Bottles of the rare La Romanee vineyard, fully owned by this Domaine, can fetch $1,200 per bottle and up on release. This is their entry-level Burgundy, which gives a good sense of the house style.
Notes on selected wines. The full selection appears on our web site via this link HERE