Van Duzer Vineyards
Named after the only gap in the north-south Oregon Coast Mountain Range, the Van Duzer Corridor, Van
Duzer Vineyards has achieved impressive success of late under the direction of winemaker Florent “Flo”
Merlier. Flo is a native of Burgundy, France, who has a Diploma in Viticulture from the University of Dijon. He
relocated to the United States in 2009, and joined Van Duzer Vineyards as winemaker with the 2011 vintage.
With his efforts, Van Duzer wines have now reached the upper echelon among Willamette Valley wineries. Flo
and I are pictured below on my recent visit.
Van Duzer Vineyards is located 60 miles south of Portland and west of the Eola Hills and Salem in Dallas.
Because the vineyards are in the eastern mouth of the Van Duzer Corridor, summer temperatures drop sooner
in the afternoon than in the vineyards to the North or south by 13 degrees, resulting in extended hang time.
The estate vineyards total 82 acres including Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon clones of Pinot Noir and Pinot
There are a number of new achievements since I last wrote about this winery in 2014:
www.princeofpinot.com.article/1535/. A new label has been designed, a new estate vineyard is being
developed in the Dundee Hills, and the winery now produces a Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay to accompany its
The picturesque hospitality center, only a 20 minute drive south of McMinnville, is open for wine tasting daily.
Visit the website at www.vanduzer.com.
Most of the wines I tasted in July have not been released so I don’t have complete data and prices on all
2015 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir Rosé
13.5% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.62, RS 0.3
g/L1,322 cases, $20, screwcap. Not a saignée, but a directed rosé produced from grapes grown
specifically for rosé. 75% Wädenswil and 25% 115, fermented in stainless steel.
orange color in the glass. Aromas of strawberry and rhubarb leap from the glass. Bright and crisp,
with tantalizing flavors of cherry, strawberry, apricot and herbs, finishing with a cleansing boost. One
of Oregon’s best rosé wines.
2015 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc
13.5% alc., $N/A, screwcap. Sourced from Bieze Vineyard.
60% barrel fermented in neutral oak and 40% fermented in stainless steel. No malolactic fermentation.
light platinum color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of green apple, pear and nutty oak in a demurely
composed wine that has a sleek, white stone fruited finish.
2015 Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Willamette Valley Chardonnay
13.5% alc., 220 cases, $N/A. Clone 96.
Fermented in 40% concrete egg, 30% stainless steel, 20% in neutral French oak and 10% in new French oak.
No malolactic fermentation.
Very light golden yellow color in the glass. Inviting aromas of white peach, pear,
floral bouquet and nutty oak. Vivid flavors of citrus and green apple picking up more intensity over time in the
2015 Smith & Perry Oregon Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., <$20, screwcap. ? October release. An entry-level
second label. A mix of Dijon clones including “828,” 113, 115 and 777. Fermented and aged in stainless steel.
Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of cherry and spice. Light to
mid weight in style, with flavors of dark red cherry and spice. Silky in the mouth with gossamer tannins and
enough tannic backbone to propel the wine. An excellent value.
2014 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.8% alc., $N/A, screwcap. 97% estate fruit. Aged 9 months
in 27% new French oak barrels.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Plenty of black cherry fruit in this
solid offering that exhibits good balance, easy drink ability, and a modest but satisfying finish.
2014 Van Duzer Westside Blocks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
(sampled from shiner) Several clones. Aged
15 months in 50% new French oak barrels.
Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of cherry
and spice that build over time in the glass. Sappy and luscious, featuring flavors of black cherry, black
raspberry, clove and other spices, and offering impressive length on the luxurious finish.
2014 Van Duzer Bieze Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
80% clone 777, 20% clone 667.
light reddish purple color in the glass. A cherry bombast that has a congenial touch of spice and a deft hint of
oak. Good mid palate richness and juiciness, with silky tannins and a generous finish.
2014 Van Duzer Alchemy Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
13.5% alc., 100 cases, $N/A. A barrel
selection meant to be different each vintage but seems to end up as same composure: 33%
Wädenswil, 33% 115, and 33% Pommard. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels.
Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Effusive aromas of black cherry and spice leading to
an amazing attack of ripe blueberry, black cherry and black raspberry fruits sprinkled with a hint of
vanilla. The hair-raising attack and 30 second finish make you sit up in your chair. A very special wine.
2014 Van Duzer Tradition Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Pommard clone from Homestead Block. 66% whole
cluster. Aged 2 years in 75% new French oak barrels. Expect to age this wine for 5 to 10 years.
light crimson color in the glass. Challenging to evaluate this young wine. A bit lighter weighted now than the
Alchemy and more closed, offering aromas and flavors of cherry and pomegranate. There is oak in the
background that needs to integrate and the prodigious tannic structure will benefit for a few years in the cellar.
The potential is obvious and this may turn out to be more deserving of a higher score.