Call it a blessing and a curse. The truth of the matter is that I am always looking for a Chardonnay or a Pinot Noir that we can bottle under the Juliana Layla label. It’s my favorite wine to offer up, bar none. The only problem is that Juliana is my one and only daughter so for the wine to bear her name, I need it to be perfect.
The last time we locked into a Pinot for JL was in the 2018 vintage. We last offered it up 936 days ago. That was a beauty from a vintage that Wine Spectator gave 94-points. Then came the pandemic, then a tough 2020 vintage in Oregon so there haven’t been many candidates. But I got early word from a few friends in the Willamette that 2021 was going to be a very special vintage, so I’ve been putting out feelers, getting samples and making some calls.
Then one day I got “the sample” and I knew Juliana Layla was back on. What a special opportunity this is. Exactly two barrels of this wine were made and are exclusively for Nicholas Wines. This cuvee comes from two of Willamette Valley’s top sites with one having recently been recognized on the national stage.
Both sites have Oregon’s coveted Jory Volcanic soils, the red soil rich in clay content, iron and other nutrients that seem to perfectly aid Pinot Noir growth and help give it distinct earthier tones. That combined with the sites higher elevation and cooler landscape give this wine aromatics, depth and a high-toned touch.