Nicolas-Jay L'Ensemble Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018  Front Label
Nicolas-Jay L'Ensemble Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018  Front LabelNicolas-Jay L'Ensemble Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018  Front Bottle Shot

Nicolas-Jay L'Ensemble Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2018

  • D95
  • WE94
  • JS94
  • WS94
  • W&S94
  • WW93
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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  • WW95
  • WS94
  • JS93
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3.9 9 Ratings
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3.9 9 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Dark, brooding color with purple edges. A unique viscosity to this wine in the glass and immediate savory spices drifting outward. Dark red berries, Hawaiian starfruit, root beer cask, and sweet bark emerge as you lean in. A tightly wound entry that compresses then explodes with prickly pears and pomegranates inside a light shell of sweet vanilla and roasted nuts as its momentum builds. The layers of flavors broaden with a tight framing of acids, chalky tannins, and a level of tension that will certainly reveal more complexity in the months and years to come.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
D 95
L'Ensemble is the selection of the best barrels from across the favoured vineyards where Nicolas-Jay sources grapes, including the estate Bishop Creek. These are not pre-selected, but chosen anew each year. The 2018 selection shows off the ripe, black fruit of the vintage with an appealing savoury, meaty character and a dense, tannic structure on the palate. Yet the sensitive winemaking has preserved freshness and elegance despite the warm, dry growing season to leave a lasting impression. This wine will age magnificently well.
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast

This is a reserve-level, select-barrel blend from some of the eight sites the winery works with. Already complex and threaded with a mix of blue and black fruits, savory herbs, citrus and sharply defined barrel toast, it's a wine that may take some years to unpack. Native yeast was used, and one-third was aged in new French oak. Drink through 2033.

JS 94
James Suckling

Spiced plums, cherries, rose hips, cedar and baking spices on the nose. Dried lemon zest, too. It’s medium-bodied with tightly knit tannins. Tight, textured and energetic. Excellent structure, freshness and drive. Unfiltered. Drink or hold.

WS 94
Wine Spectator

Handsomely built and polished, with a vibrant core of lively acidity and tannins wrapped in vibrant cherry, savory forest floor and spice tones that build tension toward medium-grained tannins. Best from 2030.

W&S 94
Wine & Spirits

Bringing together lots from five appellations, Jean-Nicolas Méo has crafted a gorgeous assemblage here, elegant and yet packed with flavor. It smells like a handful of ripe berries, the dark fruit elements framed by foresty scents. The wine’s texture is concentrated, focused and pure; its reined-in richness and succulence that finishes with remarkable poise. impressive on its own, it would pair beautifully with game, like quail or Cornish hen roasted with fresh thyme.

WW 93
Wilfred Wong of
COMMENTARY: The 2018 Nicolas-Jay l'Ensemble Pinot Noir offers excellent balance and concentration. TASTING NOTES: This wine brings power and style to the fore. Enjoy its aromas and flavors of black fruit, berries, and oak with a classic Peking duck. (Tasted: April 18, 2021, San Francisco, CA)
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Nicolas-Jay, Oregon
Nicolas-Jay Nicolas-Jay Estate Overlook Winery Image

Nicolas-Jay is the story of a three-decade friendship between famed Burgundian winemaker Jean-Nicolas Méo and visionary music entrepreneur Jay Boberg, and their shared love of Oregon Pinot noir. It is also the story of their desire to build something lasting together, while creating a distinctive expression of great Willamette Valley Pinot noir. At Nicolas-Jay, this is achieved by applying viticultural and winemaking experience gained from working with the Grands Crus of Burgundy and the finest grapes from Oregon.

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Home of some of the planet’s most amazingly elegant and expressive Pinot noir, the Willamette Valley is a pastoral, mixed landscape of green, bucolic rolling hills, dramatic forestlands and small, independent, friendly wine growers. As a leader in environmental stewardship, the valley has some of the nation’s most protective land use policies, with two-thirds of its vineyards farmed sustainably and over half, organically. While the valley claims a cool, continental climate, and is heavily influenced by the cold, moist winds of the Pacific Ocean, its warm and dry summers allow for the steady, even ripening of Pinot noir.

The potential of Willamette Valley Pinot noir continues to attract the investment of serious growers and winemakers both locally and from abroad, as naturally the finished wines bring accolades from professionals and enthusiasts. With a range of styles from delicate dried cherry, raspberry and hibiscus to stronger notes of truffle, mocha, plum and spice, a fine Willamette Valley Pinot noir is a perfect expression of both character and grace.

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TNWNJPNLE18_2018 Item# 732065

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