Nicolas-Jay, Willamette Valley (Oregon) Chardonnay “Affinités” 2020

($45):  Jean-Nicolas Méo of burgundy’s Domaine Méo-Camuzet, joined forces with Jay Boberg to establish a Willamette Valley winery in 2014.  To limit capital outlay, they initially bought grapes, and still do, for some of their wines, like this one.  This Chardonnay, a blend from several sites throughout the Willamette, is a smashing success for the 2020 vintage, a vintage for the reds that was mostly destroyed by smoke taint from the devastating wildfires.  But 2020 Willamette whites suffered little or not at all and should not be shunned because the white wine is made with little skin contact, so the smoke taint is not a problem.  Nicolas-Jay’s 2020 Affinités is ripe and lush without being in your face or heavy.  Indeed, it’s a restrained style of Chardonnay.  A touch of spice and vibrant acidity keeps you coming back for more.  A great value, given the prices of top New World Chardonnays.
92 Michael Apstein Mar 7, 2023