Back home in Burgundy, Jean-Nicolas Meo produces six grand crus as part of his family’s Domaine Méo-Camuzet, a storied winery that involves more than 20 vineyards. For his Nicolas • Jay project nestled in Oregon’s Dundee Hills, Meo, co-owner Jay Boberg and associate winemaker Tracy Kendall work with eight plantings, and L’Ensemble represents the cuvée of their best lots from Hyland, Momtazi, Nysa and Bishop Creek, the overlooked gem in the Yamhill-Carlton appellation that Boberg and Meo purchased in 2014. Minimal intervention is reflected native yeast fermentation as well as the unfined and unfiltered approach. There is barrel influence — 14 months in 33% new French oak — which adds to the perfumy nose of Bing cherry and blueberry at the front with saddle leather, sweet herbs, allspice and clove in the background. Its structure is one for the long haul, loaded up front as cherry, plum juice and cola surround the blackcurrant skin tannins. Those baking spice components return for the finish of pomegranate and cranberry that will serve it well in the short term alongside duck in a cherry sauce or Beef Bourguignon.
Rating: Outstanding! — 93 points
Production: 1,329 cases