After receiving two dozen samples and trading some notes back and forth, I chose a blend that I’m absolutely in love with and certain will be a huge hit. Once again, this is an exclusive project that we’ve commissioned for Nicholas Wines. This cuvee once again comes from two of the northern Willamette Valley’s top vineyard sites.
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 distinctly earthy tones. Combine that with the site’s higher elevation and cooler landscape, and this wine is full of aromatics, depth, and a high-toned touch.
The 2022 Juliana Layla has finally made it in. Named after our now 13-year old daughter, her latest in a line of worthy Pinot Noirs leads with cherry cola notes, blackberry juice, and violet notes with a hint of baking spice. It’s a pure-fruited, high-toned Pinot Noir with a great mid-palate, silky tannins, and a lot of focus. Only 56 cases (two barrels) of this wine were made. This is truly one to get your hands on in abundance.
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The 2020 Savigny-les-Beaunes Rouge, is the product of ancient vines, upwards of 75 years old in the lieux-dits of Planchots and Connardises. It’s a blockbuster red Burg, blasting out of the glass with an aromatic profile of spiced red berries with just a touch of savory anise.
Once again dialing up fruit from 1000-1500ft in elevation in the Dundee Hills, Chad’s 2021 is juicy, laser focused and roaring out of the gates. Chad tells me that similar wines (very similar wines) off this vineyard are raising their prices up to $55/bottle from $45 this year due to 2020’s lost year. But where most people are raising prices to recoup last year’s losses, the CHAD Pinot Noir price is somehow lower. A true gift from our favorite winemaker.
Labet fully destems the fruit and then ages it, two-thirds in stainless steel and one-third in French oak, before bottling. That helps it become highly well-balanced and approachable in its youth, with some spice and blue and red fruits as well as earthy and rocky notes. On top of the ripe core of fruit, there’s some Mediterranean herbs and a hint of anise and French oak spice. The bright, clean finish reflects the wine’s rocky, high-country terroir with juicy, silky tannins and a snap of tangy acidity that packs a punch.