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Winemaker Grant Coulter worked for years at Beaux Frères Winery before leaving at the end of 2015 and became the Director of Vineyards and Winemaker at Flâneur Winery. Michael D. Etzel, Mike Etzel's son, took over the direct winemaking at Beaux Frères.
Before the 2016 vintage, the wines were crafted by Kely Kidneigh. The 2016 vintage is Coulter's first vine to bottle vintage.
The winery is a partnership between Coulter, Russell Lichtenthal and Martin Doerschlag. Doerschlag, who is from Virginia, bought a 7-acre vineyard in the Ribbon Ridge AVA (Flânerie Vineyard, planted in 2003 by previous owners Bonnie and Matt Saikkonen), and also purchased 40 acres of an abandoned cherry and prune orchard in the Chehalem Mountains, turning it into a 35-acre vineyard called La Belle Promenade. The estate vineyard, La Belle Promenade ("The Beautiful Walk") was planted to 28 acres of Pinot Noir, 5 acres of Chardonnay and 2 acres of Pinot Meunier in the spring of 2014. Jory soils, 700-800 feet elevation.
The word, flâneur can be described as follows: "A flâneur observes one's surroundings and takes time to appreciate the amazing details of life."
The winery is located in Carlton and the tasting room opened in 2016 .
A Rosé from the 2015 vintage, and a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir were introduced from the 2013 and 2014 vintages. An X-Novo Chardonnay is also available and a sparkling wine will be released in 2020.
Doerschlag also bought a grain elevator in Carlton from Ken Wright and is converting it into a tasting venue and event space, expected to open in November 2018.
The wines are available online and through a mailing list.
2014 Flâneur Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 250 cases, $40. 60% estate Flanerie Vineyard and 40% X-Novo Vineyard. Fermented with feral yeast, aged 18 months in French oak barrels (40% new) and bottled unfiltered. · Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Heady aromas of black cherry, spice and floral bouquet captivate. Opens slowly in the glass, offering a core of sappy black cherry and black raspberry goodness accented with welcome spice and framed by muscular tannins. The finish is particularly impressive, leaving a trail of spiced dark fruits in its wake. Even better when tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle. Score: 92. Reviewed June 25, 2017 ARTICLE »