2018 Flaneur, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
One of the new labels in the Willamette Valley has has impressed me in recent years, Flaneur, based in Carlton, is an up and coming winery that has some exciting wines to discover and this beautiful and dark, black and blue fruited basic Willamette Valley cuvee is definitely one to search out, it offers a lot of quality and value for the price. Flaneur Wines was founded by the ambitious Marty Doerschlag who has amazingly, and quickly made his winery a force to be reckoned with and his team looks to be an all star cast, including winemaker and vineyard manager Grant Coulter, who I’m known since 2008 when I visited Beaux Freres and have been following ever since, the ex Beaux Freres man was drawn to this winery by the mission to produce small lot hand crafted wines all coming from organic and sustainable vineyard site as well as putting his artistic stamp on the wines. The 2018 Flaneur Pinot starts with English rose, red berries and cedary spices and opens up with beautiful detail on the smooth and silken medium bodied palate with rich layers of briar laced raspberry, plum, red currant and a deep core of black cherry fruit that everything revolves around with touches of tea spices, cinnamon, mineral tones, snapping herbs and a hint of toasty wood. The 2018 was native yeast fermented and saw just about 5% new French oak, with the balance being aged in well seasoned used barrel and got a gentle cool maceration to preserve purity, freshness and aromatic quality.
This 2018 vintage has lots of elegance and energy on display and they have a graceful sensibility with this Flaneur showcasing the year’s best characteristics and delivers its flavors with a exciting flourish, especially after opening up and getting air, it is joyous to experience even in its youth and can be enjoyed now and it should provide pleasure for another 3 to 5 years with ease. The Flaneur winemaker, Grant Coulter has really become one of Oregon’s top guns and as noted in my reviews, his own label Hundred Suns Wines is one of my big favorites, especially his whole cluster style Pinots and his awesome Gamay, which I highly recommend to anyone reading this and his offerings here at Flaneur are just as stylish and desirable. Grant, who is originally from Monterey County, has worked for Eric Hamacher, another California talent to move to Oregon as well as for the legendary Mike Etzel, where Coulter rose up to be head winemaker at the famed Beaux Freres, where he made some profound wines. Flaneur also does Chardonnay, which I hope to dig into in the near future as well as a grower producer style Champagne method sparkling wine, again I can’t wait to try it, especially since it is an Extra Brut with an ultra dry style, which is my kind of bubbly. This deeply colored dark ruby/garnet 2018 Flaneur Willamette Valley Pinot, that was sourced from a variety of cool climate sites with a mixture of the region’s zones and a combination of soils, is easy to love and a great value, be sure to keep an eye out for it and getting onto their mailing list to see their more limited offerings.
($25 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive