2017 Flaneur Wines, Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon.
The expressive and dynamic Flaneur Willamette Valley Pinot has that crunchy, semi carbonic like fruit intensity and exotic spices with layers of racy red cherry, briar laced raspberry, pomegranate, plum and strawberry fruits along with cinnamon, cola bean, tea and peppery herbs, plus a juicy Moro orange note, along with a faint wood shading. Flaneur hasn’t been on the scene very long, but if they continue with wines like this they are heading in the right direction and should pick up a serious following within a short time. I find this one to have a more Cru Beaujolais character at first and it reminds me of some great Fleurie and Morgon, but given air its Pinot fruit comes through and it gets very stylish. The color is bright ruby and garnet and the nose is ever changing with rose petal, earth, mineral and red berries all playing a role in the glass. This vintage, which typically is a bit more muted that the riper 2015 and 2016 is no wallflower and is bursting with flavor, with partial bunches and stems adding exuberant vitality and grip on the medium bodied palate, again air allows the true sense of this beautiful wine to come through with silken mouth feel and length on the finish. It also gets even better with food, especially slightly more complex stuff and it can stand up to some fun Asian dishes as well, plus it can be enjoyed, with a thrill, slightly chilled and with picnics or warm evening dinning. This 2017 Willamette Valley cuvee by Flaneur is youthfully flamboyant and vibrant, but there’s a lot to come here, and for the price I highly recommend getting a few to enjoy now and some to age.
One of the under the radar, but great values in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, Flaneur Wines, made by Grant Coulter, who recently moved on from being winemaker at the famous Beaux Freres Vineyard, and maker of his own label Hundred Suns, his overseeing the vineyards and hand crafting these wines for Flaneur gives them instant street cred. Grant, a Monterey native, is one of many new generation winemakers from this region to be getting their due, along with Scott Shapely of Roar, Eric Hamacher of Hamacher, also in Oregon, Grant’s friends Cory (who told be to check this wine out) and Mike Waller of Eden Rift and Calera respectively as well as Jeff Pisoni of Fort Ross and his family’s wines, as well as Russell Joyce, to name just a few, all of which are making some world class Pinots. As a Monterey native myself I am proud of these guys and thrilled with their wines, especially Coulter’s stuff and I love this 2017 Flaneur. I first met Grant in 2008 at Beaux Freres, while visiting the vineyard and tasting through the wines and have been following his wines ever since, his time with Mike Etzel was time well spent and his has taken a lot with him, he looks to work organic and biodynamic where he can as well as using natural methods with native yeast fermentations and less new oak, with this Flaneur seeing only about 11% new French oak, all to preserve clarity, purity and freshness. This year saw 68% of the grapes sourced from La Belle Promenade and 32% from the Flanerie vineyard and ended up being about 36% whole cluster, the finished alcohol came it at 13.7%, though it feels less and it is a wonderfully balanced wine. I love it as is, but it will be a wine to follow for the next 3 to 5 years when it hits its sweet spot.
($27 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive