Our first team field trip to wine country in a year and a half was a special one: our first visit to the brand new Nicolas-Jay winery and to their breathtaking Bishop Creek estate vineyard. Sure, we saw the picture of the winery headlining Wine Spectator's most recent Willamette Valley feature, but we had to see it for ourselves. Tasting and visiting with co-founder Jay Boberg and associate winemaker Tracy Kendall we concluded two things: 1) in a handful of years, Nicolas-Jay has become one of the top-tier Oregon wineries and 2) you should shortlist a visit to the new winery for your next trip to the Willamette Valley. We're in the front row of the Nicolas-Jay cheering section for the two new releases below and for all their thrilling wines to come. Get on board!
$49.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($54.95 regular)
Us: The prettiest Willamette Valley Pinot Nicolas-Jay has made, which plays right into our preferences so we have to include "the best yet." Vivid, sublime aromas unfurl the delicate layers of red fruits, lavender and rose. A heavenly Pinot purity that shines through the finish. While it has caused some confusion to label this a "mere" Willamette Valley, which will be resolved in the 2018 vintage and beyond, this was Nicolas-Jay's flagship Pinot noir and has all the feel of a reserve wine.
93 points Wine Spectator: "A lovely wine, elegantly complex and expressive, with raspberry and rose petal aromas accented by a hint of cardamom. Builds tension toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2029."
$44.95 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($49.95 regular)
Us: A beautiful bottle of Chardonnay. But I won't stop there. It exists as a bridge between the geekdom of Willamette Valley Chard and the land of universal Chardonnay appeal. Exhibiting both heady richness and mouthwatering vibrancy, I would sip it casually for lunch or plan a feast around it, especially slow roasted halibut or the perfect roasted chicken. I virtually guarantee you'll love it.
This bursts from the glass with lemon verbena, white flowers and citrusy perfume, then swings toward orange zest and Galia melon. Precise and focused upon entry, but the tension escalates quickly with tangerines, white stone minerality and crisp peach flavors that push and elongate into a long, elevated and textured finish. This wine shows stunning detail and persistence throughout. -Nicolas-Jay
Affinités Chardonnnay is a newer member of the Nicolas-Jay family, blending the high-elevation portions of Nicolas-Jay's Bishop Creek estate vineyard with a cool site in the Eola-Amity Hills.
At right, yours truly in the middle of Bishop Creek Vineyard,