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Upcoming Events

We very much look forward to hosting you at our brand-new tasting room and winery beginning April 2021!

Reserve your tasting and be one of the first to experience our beautiful new space. 

Join our email list to stay in the loop with updates about our grand opening events and celebrations.

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We couldn't be more excited for our upcoming virtual tasting with our friends at Hirsch Vineyards on April 11th at 12pm!

Join Jean Nicolas Meo, Jay Boberg and Jasmine Hirsch for this discussion on Pinot Noir. Geared towards the most passionate of Pinot Noir fans — this will be an in-depth conversation about clonal selection, climate, ripeness, and so much more. Please bring your questions to share during our live Q&A at the end of the session.

 

Two wines each, from Hirsch Vineyards and Nicolas Jay, are offered as part of this tasting. Purchase wines by 3/24 to ensure you receive them in time:

  • Click HERE to purchase the 2018 Hirsch Block 8 Estate Pinot Noir and the 2018 Hirsch San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir.
  • Click HERE to purchase the 2015 Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and the 2017 Momtazi Vineyard Pinot Noir from Nicolas-Jay
  • Click HERE to register and reserve your spot! 
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Press

Oregon Wine Press: Dundee Hills Headliner - Nicolas-Jay raises curtain on new tasting room

Dundee Hills Headliner
Nicolas-Jay raises curtain on new tasting room
 

By Patty Mamula
Oregon Wine Press
May 25, 2021

The harmonious blend of music and wine at Domaine Nicolas-Jay stems from the 30-year friendship of Jean-Nicolas Méo, a renowned winemaker from the historic French estate Méo Camuzet in Burgundy, and Jay Boberg, a music entrepreneur and co-founder of I.R.S. Records in California.

Together, they recently opened their new winery and tasting room in the Dundee Hills. The 53-acre site lies in a natural rotunda surrounded by Douglas firs and white oaks. Although they purchased the property in 2019, Boberg and Méo started making wine together in 2014 with grapes from their own vineyard, Bishop Creek, located in the Yamhill-Carlton AVA, and seven other Willamette Valley vineyards.

“So far, we have one acre of Pinot Noir, but, eventually, we’ll have 25 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” Boberg explained. Even though the site sits on the cooler north side of the Dundee Hills, different parts of the property have southeast orientations. A relatively flat section over a ridge at 950 feet will be the future home of Pinot vines. Once a longhorn cattle farm, the property’s rich Jory soil extends six, seven, even eight feet deep in places.

Boberg has overseen the design and aesthetics of the new tasting room, a former barn transformed into a light-filled space. “We wanted it to feel like home,” he added.

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Pinot noir, rock ‘n’ roll, and the Gang That Couldn’t Drive Straight


By Michael Alberty
For The Oregonian/OregonLive

 

Newly opened Nicolas-Jay Estate possesses a combination unmatched by any other winery: excellent wines, gold records on the walls, and getaway cars abandoned by bank robbers. I couldn’t get to Newberg fast and furious enough.

Nicolas-Jay is a partnership between winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and former music industry executive Jay Boberg. Méo is known worldwide for the wines he makes for Domaine Méo-Camuzet, his family’s estate in Burgundy, France. Boberg is a co-founder of I.R.S. Records, where he spent 15 years producing the likes of R.E.M., the Go-Go’s, and Fine Young Cannibals.

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Life Lessons with Jay Boberg of Domaine Nicolas-Jay


Jay Boberg has worked with some of the biggest names in music, but now sees the blending room as his mixing desk, creating some of the finest Pinot Noir in Oregon

WORDS BY ADAM LECHMERE

 

There are many parallels drawn between wine and music, but it’s usually in the form of classical music – you don’t find too many punks or rockers in the great cellars of the world.

Jay Boberg, though, brings a flavour of rock ‘n’ roll to his corner of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, where he’s making increasingly acclaimed wines with his friend Jean-Nicolas Méo of Burgundy’s renowned Domaine Méo-Camuzet, owner of grands crus and of some of the finest premier-cru vineyards of Nuits-St-Georges and Vosne-Romanée.

To say Boberg has rock credentials is to understate the case. The man who founded IRS Records in 1979 is responsible for nurturing and signing some of the greatest acts of the past 40 years, from REM and The Go-Go’s to Mary J Blige, The Roots, BB King, Buzzcocks, Black Sabbath, Jools Holland and The Beat. He brought us REM’s The One I Love, as well as Buzzcocks’ Orgasm Addict, The Stranglers’ Peaches and the haunting electronica of Gary Numan; he produced The Damned, Dead Kennedys, The Fall and dozens more seminal bands.

He’s known Méo since the late 1980s when the pair met in Philadelphia (“I was in town on business and my sister threw a party, and there was this Frenchman there”). While running IRS he had already worked up a serious interest in wine – he hosted wine-tasting groups for music-industry friends, held winemaker dinners with US merchant Kermit Lynch to promote bands, and owned vineyards in Calistoga in the Napa Valley.

It wasn’t until 2012, however, when Méo called Boberg and said he was thinking of setting up in Oregon, that his wine career became serious. Boberg has said he was “cautious at first” but now says one of his regrets is that he didn’t get into wine earlier.

Domaine Nicolas-Jay, as the two friends called their enterprise, owns the 13.5 acre (5.5ha) Bishop Creek vineyard, planted to 40-year-old Pinot Noir with a couple of acres of Chardonnay, and they source grapes across the Willamette Valley for a series of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs and critically acclaimed Chardonnays. The wines (the first releases were from the 2014 vintage) are imported in the UK by Berry Bros.

Two years ago they took their commitment to the next level when they bought a 22ha property in the Dundee Hills, renovating an old cattle barn on the property to include a visitor area for tastings and dinners.

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Forbes: Pinot, Doug Firs, And A Killer Playlist: Nicolas-Jay Debuts Its New Tasting Room In Willamette Valley

Elizabeth Brownfield, Contributor
Forbes
April 30, 2021


 

You’ll never have to suffer through cheesy “muzak” or generic background instrumentals as you taste through the Pinots at Nicolas-Jay’s just-opened tasting room. That’s because the winery claims something exceptionally rare in the wine world: a rock ‘n’ roll pedigree. 

Before Californian Jay Boberg partnered with French-born Jean-Nicolas Méo to co-found the winery in Willamette Valley’s Dundee Hills, Boberg spent four decades fostering the careers of artists ranging from R.E.M. to Mary J. Blige, Black Sabbath to Sigur Rós as the founder of IRS Records. Méo, whose family owns Burgundy’s renowned Domaine Méo-Camuzet, was studying abroad in the States and met the music entrepreneur in 1988. The two forged a friendship built on shared philosophies on life, music, and wine — especially Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley. Méo soon returned to France and immersed himself in the family winemaking business, eventually taking the reins from his father, and Boberg continued building IRS. 

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Nicolas-Jay in Departures Magazine: Oregon Finally Has a White Wine to Call Its Own

 

"Oregon’s Willamette Valley is synonymous with pinot noir, but a signature white wine has always remained elusive for the region. However, a new grape is emerging—or re-emerging—and bringing new energy to a global favorite.

Back in the 1960s, when winemakers moved up from California to Oregon, they brought pinot and chardonnay with them. The two varieties are perfect partners in Burgundy; what’s not to love in Oregon? Jason Lett, winemaker and co-owner of Eyrie Vineyards, whose father, David Lett, planted the first chardonnay in Willamette Valley, said the reception to the grape was fairly strong. Although, a few factors quickly knocked chardonnay off its mantle.

The first—and possibly the biggest issue many point to—was clonal material. Chardonnay would be harvested weeks after pinot noir, but still wouldn’t achieve the proper ripeness levels. It wasn’t until David Adelsheim of Adelsheim Vineyards did a winemaking stage in Burgundy that the issue of clones came to light. In France, the chardonnay was being picked at the same time, if not earlier, than pinot noir, and he suspected that the clones brought up from California weren’t the right fit for Willamette Valley’s terroir. 

That aforementioned ripeness (or lack thereof)? Also an issue. People’s palates were attuned to the rich and ripe styles of California, and wines like Kendall-Jackson became a north star for winemaking. The influence of Robert Parker also put these bold, fruit-forward styles in vogue. “There was a perception of ripeness about what New World chardonnay should taste like,” says Eugenia Keegan, general manager of Jackson Family Wines for Willamette Valley, which was something Oregon winemakers wouldn’t be able to easily achieve, due to climate and terroir. Oak use became more prevalent, but it still didn’t recreate the popular California style. 

As a result, a lot of winemakers ripped up their chardonnay, says Lett, giving more space to pinot noir or pinot gris, another white grape that people thought had potential. 

Why Chardonnay, Why Now?

Because of these tribulations, Oregon chardonnay production is tiny. Overall, the state only accounts for about one percent of wine made in the United States, and chardonnay is just five percent of that production, according to Josh Bergström of Bergström Wines. With just a little under 2,000 acres under vine, chardonnay is still a small category—but today, one that’s garnering huge interest. Several estates, like Eyrie, Bergström, and Adelsheim, held steady with chardonnay throughout the decades; their knowledge, coupled with the resurgent interest in the grape and new plantings, is bringing Willamette Valley chardonnay into the limelight.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, building on Adelsheim’s discoveries in Burgundy, the movement to bring over better clones began, spurring one stage of the revolution. With better plant materials, winemakers began refining their vinification and winemaking techniques, which led to further discoveries about the grape’s potential. 

Embracing the Land

Dedicating key vineyard sites to chardonnay not only aids in the growing quality of the wines, it shows a winemaker’s commitment to the grape. At Big Table Farm, Clare Carver and her husband Brian Marcy are putting new plantings in places with, “the best aspect, the highest elevation; it’s the most treasured part of the vineyard site, and that’s what we’re giving to chardonnay,” says Carver. 

Attention to terroir is also causing winemakers to fine-tune their farming and winemaking and play to the region’s natural strengths. A prominence of marine sedimentary and volcanic soils often bring notes of salinity to the wine. “[One of] the recurring threads of chardonnay across the region is the interplay of fruit and non-fruit,” says Erik Kramer, winemaker at WillaKenzie. For Jay Boberg, co-owner of Nicolas-Jay, who points to Chablis for stylistic comparison of his wines, “acidity is super-important, and we talk about picking dates [frequently].” If picked too late and acidity is lost, it’s a harder problem to rectify. 

 

Recommended Wine: Nicolas-Jay, Bishop Creek Chardonnay, Yamhill-Carlton, 2018

The organically farmed vines were grafted over from pinot gris to chardonnay several years ago and this is the first official vintage from the site. Hints of pear and floral notes meet a richness in the mouthfeel that’s balanced by the bright acidity.

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Wine Enthusiast Awards 93 Points to Nicolas-Jay 2017 Bishop Creek Pinot Noir

 

Nicolas-Jay 2017 Bishop Creek Pinot Noir (Yamhill-Carlton)
by Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Paul Gregutt
December 1, 2020

Rating: 93 Points

"Bishop Creek is the estate vineyard, now two decades old and coming into its prime. This is a wine to stash and savor down the road a bit. Currently it's tight and firm, lightly herbal, detailed and impeccably balanced with a mix of wild berries, citrus and soil. Drink 2022 through the rest of the decade and perhaps beyond."

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The reviews are in...

We put a lot of care, thought and work into each vintage and the 2017 was no exception. That's why we're always grateful to be recognized! 

Wine Spectator just recognized 5 of our 2017 wines at 93 points or above calling them, "impeccably structured and refined" and "elegantly complex and expressive." Our winemaking team loved working on the 2017 vintage; a cooler year that expressed itself through a restraint and elegance that is just coming into blossom now. Thank you to our winemaking team for making this happen and to Wine Spectator for your recognition! 

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Wine Spectator Feature: A First Look at Nicolas-Jay Estate

In their annual Oregon report, Wine Spectator gave a sneak peek of our new winery and tasting room, opening later this year. Nestled in a natural amphitheater surrounded by forest, the estate was captured on a crystal-clear winter day, surely an omen of good things to come.

 

Wine Spectator's Oregon columnist Tim Fish writes, "Jay Boberg and Jean-Nicolas Méo of Nicolas-Jay are an offbeat partnership. Boberg is a former music executive who helped discover R.E.M. and winemaker Méo leads Domaine Méo-Camuzet, one of the top producers in Burgundy's Vosne-Romanée. [...] the partners had their first crush at their newly finished winery in 2020. If the refined and complex Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir Dundee Hills Nysa 2017 (94 Points, $90) is any indication, the winery's future looks bright."

The report also placed the 2017 Nysa Vineyard Pinot Noir as a Top Wine in Oregon: "Nicely structured and refined, with complex black raspberry, orange-tinged tea and cardamom flavor that build richness and intensity."

Our 2017 Bishop Creek Vineyard was awarded 93 points: "Refined and keenly focused, with distinctive cherry and guava flavors that are laced with rose petal and savory spice accents, picking up tension and polish toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2027."

 

Read the full article on Wine Spectator's website (note: available to Wine Spectator paid subscribers).

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Jamie Goode Praise for Nicolas-Jay: "An Oregon Legend in the Making"

New releases from Nicolas-Jay, an Oregon legend in the making
Jamie Goode
March 10, 2021

 

"Nicolas-Jay is a collaboration between Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo (Domaine Méo-Camuzet), and renowned music and media entrepreneur Jay Boberg (who co-founded IRS Records). I visited and interviewed them in July 2019 (you can read this here if you want more background on this interesting project).

 

They have just released two new wines, which I tasted with them over a Zoom. The first is their debut white, a Chardonnay from the top of their estate Bishop Creek vineyard, and the second is a new high-end Pinot called L’Ensemble, which brings together the most expressive barrels from the eight different vineyard sites they work with. They are both extremely impressive wines.


The debut vintage was 2014, and the first six vintages were made in other peoples’ wineries: they began at Adelsheim, and then moved to Sokol Blosser. From this vintage, though, they’ll have their own winery.


They have bought a 53 acre (21 hectare) property on the north slope of the Dundee Hills. As well as planting a vineyard (some 25 acres/10 hectares) are plantable, and Pinot Noir and Chardonnay will be going into the ground beginning this autumn) they have rebuilt an existing barn as a winery. This will mean that they can be fully gravity flow, and also install a 12-person sorting table like the one Jean-Nicolas uses in Bourgogne...."

 

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Thank you to Wine Spectator for your recent review!

Thank you to Wine Spectator for featuring our Pinot Noir from the beautiful Nysa Vineyard. This special site in the Dundee Hills in the Willamette Valley is own-rooted and is one of the three single vineyard designates we make at Nicolas-Jay.

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Nicolas-Jay a Forbes "Best Pinot Noir for the Holidays"

Choosing the Best of Oregon's Pinot Noir for the Holidays

by Forbes Contributor Joseph V Micallef
​Nov 25, 2020

"With more than 900 wineries and almost 1,300 vineyards, there is no shortage of Oregon’s flagship Pinot Noir to choose from this holiday season. Below is a selection of outstanding Pinot Noirs...some are well-known, long-standing producers, while others are relative newcomers. All of them offer excellent wines that will enhance any holiday get together.
 

Nicolas-Jay, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, 2017

Decanter awarded the wine 93 points at its recent World Wine Awards, good enough to best many better-known Burgundian stalwarts. Describing it as “high-toned and damp” with “aromas of wet earth, earl grey tea and cocoa nibs followed by flavors of pomegranate and red plum skin.” This is a classic Oregon Pinot Noir drawn predominantly from the Bishop Creek vineyard with additions from several other vineyards."
 

Click Here for the full article. 

 

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Decanter Names Nicolas-Jay Bishop Creek Chardonnay a "Top 12 Oregon Chardonnay to Try"

 

Oregon Chardonnay: Top 12 to Try
Decanter Contributor Charles Curtis MW
August 5, 2020

That it’s such a draw for so many Burgundians of note is sufficient to tell you that Oregon’s Willamette Valley is a developing wine region to be followed, and still a land of discovery. Charles Curtis MW highlights his pick of the producers, along with 12 great wines to try...

 

Nicolas-Jay Bishop Creek Chardonnay, 2018

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Wine Spectator Features Nicolas-Jay in May 2021 Issue

Wine Spectator recently featured our Cofounder and Winemaker Jean-Nicolas Meo’s storied winemaking history. From the Cote D ‘Ors famed Domaine Meo-Camuzet, through the great grands crus of Burgundy, to ultimately founding Nicolas-Jay with longtime friend Jay Boyberg in the Willamette Valley in 2012, read about Meo's comprehensive winemaking journey. 

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Nicolas-Jay Featured in Forbes: "Best Of Both Worlds: Burgundy Producers Craft High-Quality Wine In Willamette Valley"

Burgundy represents the pinnacle of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Yet, prestigious Burgundy producers are spreading their winemaking skills across the pond to Willamette Valley. 

The same time Gagey and Lardière (of Résonance Wines) were exploring Willamette Valley, former music entrepreneur, Jay Boberg was convincing his long-time friend, Jean-Nicolas Méo, winemaker of Domaine Méo-Camuzet in Burgundy, to consider a joint venture in the region.

Their journey began in 2012, with an in-depth exploration of the Willamette Valley. In 2014, Domaine Nicolas-Jay was born.

Producing top-quality Burgundy poses a risk on winemakers seeking to expand to Willamette Valley. The new world wines must be equal in stature to their old world counterparts. “We have to believe we can make world-class wine here. After spending two years carefully tasting and studying to region, Jean-Nicolas turned to me and said ‘I think we are going to be fine,’” shares Boberg.

Méo sees parallels between Burgundy and Willamette Valley through the wide variety of Pinot Noir expressions produced by both regions. While this diversity poses challenges for consumers, because two wines crafted from the same grape grown in adjoining vineyards express themselves so differently in the glass, the sense of place excites both men.  

As they look to the future, the desire is to maintain their boutique size while also continually seeking new expressions of the region’s terroir and expand relationships within the industry and with consumers. The key, for Boberg is fun. “As long as we are all having fun it’s all worth it.”

2018 Nicolas-Jay Affinités Chardonnay dazzles with orchard and under-ripe stone fruit, citrus zest, baked quince topped with toasted graham crackers. Lean and focused with a mild-palate density and texture driven by judicious use of oak. Long mouth-watering finish.

2017 Nicolas-Jay Momtazi Pinot Noir McMinnville is a bold, lively wine sourced from biodynamically grown grapes. Layers of black fruit, wild herbs, and a cola kiss allure the senses. Broad and full-bodied supported by foundational acidity in a texturally dense mouth-feel.

2017 Nicolas-Jay Nysa Pinot Noir Dundee Hills is a wine of complexity and depth. Layers of aromas include bramble berry, forest floor, exotic spice box, and holiday potpourri. An expansive and energetic mouth-feel is driven by acidity.

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'Oregon Finally Has a White Wine to Call Its Own'

Oregon’s Willamette Valley is synonymous with pinot noir, but a signature white wine has always remained elusive for the region. However, a new grape is emerging—or re-emerging—and bringing new energy to a global favorite.

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'6 of the Best Wineries in Oregon's Willamette Valley' from Afar Magazine

The Burgundy region of France is pinot noir’s ancestral home, where the grape variety has been meticulously cultivated for millennia by monks, dukes, and some of the most iconic domaines in the wine world. In recent decades, Burgundy producers have looked to invest in overseas projects, with several settling on the Willamette Valley. Nicolas-Jay is a more recent addition to that story, with its first vintage debuting in 2014. The Dundee-based winery is a collaboration between Burgundy luminary Jean-Nicolas Méo, winemaker and proprietor at Domaine Méo-Camuzet, and U.S. music executive Jay Boberg, who both lend their name to the label. Their efforts have overtaken the former Bishop Creek Vineyard, where winery visits for intimate, guided tasting sessions are available by appointment only.

What to Drink: Sip reputable wines like Momtazi pinot noir, a structured, cellarable wine with broodingly dark, earthen berry flavors adhering to Méo’s style in France.

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A New Home in the Dundee Hills

"Nicolas-Jay is putting down roots. After five harvests in the Willamette Valley, Jean-Nicolas Méo and partner Jay Boberg have purchased their own pied à terre in a cozy corner of the northern Dundee Hills."

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Exciting Marks from Vinous

Josh Raynolds of Vinous recently covered the 2017 vintage in the Willamette Valley, praising it as a vintage of richness. Nicolas Jay was proud to be among the wineries reviewed. 
 

 

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Hopewell Vineyard in the Times

Nicolas Jay is proud to source Pinot Noir from the 80-acre Hope Well Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills, planted in 2008 to 20-acres of vines, which overlook the Willamette Valley on rich, volcanic soils.

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Nicolas-Jay Featured in Decanter

 
Domaine Nicolas-Jay: Producer profile
by Decanter Contributor Matthew Luczy
January 20, 2020

 

Jay Boberg is loosening the ratchet-straps that are securing harvest bins to a flatbed trailer in preparation for the picking of Pinot Noir in the Nysa Vineyard the following dawn...

 

 

 

 

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Tracy Kendall on 1337 Wine

Tracy sits down with Mark Fusco to chat Nicolas Jay and more

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"Very Fine" Pinot Noir: Jamie Goode visits Nicolas-Jay

Wineanorak's Jamie Goode stopped by the Dundee house in July for a tasting with Jean-Nicolas and Jay

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Nicolas Jay on Wine Extract

Jay and Jean-Nicolas sit down to talk Nicolas-Jay and more with The Extract, a video series dedicated to wine geeks and cork dorks from novice to expert.

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Nicolas Jay in Food and Wine

Food and Wine's Jonathan Cristaldi has named Nicolas-Jay one of the 26 wineries to visit in Oregon and Washington!

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Jean-Nicolas Wine Searcher Interview

"To truly understand Pinot Noir, one has to work every day with it. Given that, Jean-Nicolas Méo certainly has greater insight into this unpredictable varietal than almost anyone else today." Nicolas-Jay proprietor Jean-Nicolas is interviewed in Wine Searcher.

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Nicolas Jay in Forbes

Our own Tracy Kendall had the opportunity to talk with Forbes.com and explain the Nicolas Jay project, and what it means to make Pinot in Oregon. 

 

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Nicolas Jay Decanter Producer Profile

Matthew Luczy visits the Oregon domaine, a coming together of music mogil and Burgundian winemaker...

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The Best Pinots in Oregon: James Suckling Reviews the 2017 Vintage

This summer, James Suckling's Oregon critic Nick Stock returned to the Willamette Valley, this time to taste and review the 2017 wines. He found the wines "delivered a strong unified impression of rich flavors, structure and balance."

Nicolas Jay was among the highest scored wines tasted.

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2017 Own-Rooted Pinot Noir

Words from Jean-Nicolas on "own-rootedness" and a new Nicolas-Jay Pinot Noir

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Telegraph: Best Red Wines for Christmas

The forthcoming 2017 Willamette Valley was recently featured as a holiday wine idea in the Telegraph.

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Small Production, Low Intervention: Nicolas Jay and Slow Wine in Oregon

Nicolas Jay is one of 50 wineries to appear in the first even Slow Wine Guide for Oregon!

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Jay in World of Fine Wine

Jay was featured earlier this year in World of Fine Wine, in an article by Master of Wine Anne Krebiehl on "Pinot Noir Vignettes" 

Read the article here 

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Nicolas Jay Featured in Wine Spectator

In a feature covering the influence of Burgundy in Oregon, Nicolas Jay's 2016 Willamette Valley received 94 Points from Wine Spectator. Jay, Jean-Nicolas and Tracy received a full-page article, featured below...

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