Cuvee J: Among an Elite Handful

When we're asked to suggest a literal handful of Oregon Pinots to buy every vintage, Evesham Wood's Cuvee J is one of them. We've said it for years and I'll say it again: Cuvee J is among an elite list of Oregon Pinots. It deserves cult status. We are lucky that we don't have to fight for this wine...yet. Only 145 cases made: the most exquisite, age-worthy six barrels of the vintage from Evesham's organically farmed Le Puits Sec vineyard. 

Evesham Wood "Cuvee J" Pinot noir 2014

$44.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case* order ($49.95 regular)     

If you like multidimensional, sensual, ethereal, age-worthy Willamette Valley Pinot noir, this wine is for you. The perfect partnership of bright and dark, of cool and sweet. Aromatically very open with a silky, layered array of flavors. Right now, fresh cherries, red berries and plums. Two of my favorite culinary herbs, rosemary and sage, are woven throughout. The showy fruit conceals the hidden structure that makes this the kind of wine you can buy a case of, drink half over the coming couple years and cellar half for a decade. 

An important note: while I'd never refer to a $45 wine as inexpensive, Cuvee J is underpriced compared to its peers. Try finding another Oregon winery with 30 vintages and 30 year-old vines (organic too!), where their super-limited, top Pinot noir is under $50. - Marcus

What's the importance of "J"? 

I've heard the story many times but I asked winemaker Erin Nuccio to help with the re-telling:

"When Russ (Raney) founded Evesham Wood in 1986 he looked to Burgundy, and more specifically, to Henri Jayer for inspiration and direction. I consider Jayer to be Russ's idol; he corresponded with him somewhat regularly about winemaking and very much modeled his work in the vineyard and winery after what Jayer was doing.

In 1989 Russ and Mary were having a celebratory dinner in the mobile home they lived in in the middle of Le Puits Sec Vineyard and opened a bottle of 1989 Jayer Echezeaux to celebrate the upcoming harvest. There were several winemakers there, including David Adelsheim. Moved by the texture of the Jayer, Russ wondered to what degree the yeast in the wine was responsible. 

He saved the sediment from the bottle of Echezeaux and dumped it into some crushed fruit and got the fermentation going. He then innoculated a single fermenter of Temperance Hill Vineyard fruit with it. That fermenter was pressed down to three barrels and a year and a half later, he bottled a single barrel as the first vintage of Cuvée J. 

Robert Parker got ahold of a bottle and gave it the highest score of any Oregon wine at the time which put Evesham Wood on the national and international wine scene. A lab then isolated the yeast from that bottle and to this day still stores it for us, which we use every year for all of Evesham Wood's Pinot noir's. Through the years as the blend grew, other vineyards made there way into Cuvée J, including Seven Springs and then our estate vineyard, Le Puits Sec. For the last ten years it has been a six barrel selection from Le Puits Sec. 

Before Jayer passed away in 2006, Russ visited him and gave him a bottle of Evesham Wood Cuvée J."

We look forward to helping you with an order. Thank you for reading and for all of your support. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!