Each week I pick out one wine to highlight as my wine of the week.  This wine may be an outstanding wine, a great value or just something very interesting.



Van Duzer logo



I’m always on the lookout for good Pinot Noirs.  Recently, most of my time (and money) has been spent exploring the Pinots from Oregon.  A local wine store had this wine on the shelf at a great price and that was more than enough reason for me to grab a couple bottles.



The Winery

Van Duzer Vineyards was built on a dream to find a cool weather site in Oregon for the fussy Pinot Noir grape that would rival the best wines of Burgundy in balance and finesse. In 1998, Van Duzer Vineyards owners Carl and Marilynn Thoma located a hilltop winery with existing vineyards immediately west of the Eola Hills. The estate site occupies a strategic site in the foothills of the Van Duzer Corridor, the conduit through the Coastal Mountains for maritime breezes that enter the Willamette Valley at the close of summer evenings.


Located on a scenic hilltop amidst 82 acres of vines, the family estate winery practices sustainable farming and has been endorsed by internationally recognized LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Enology) and Salmon Safe.


Pinot Noir is Van Duzer’s signature wine. A variety of Pinot Noir clonal varieties and microclimates allows Van Duzer Vineyards to produce a multi-dimensional estate Pinot Noir and a handful of limited-production Block Designates of singular personality. Pinot Gris is Oregon’s other wine of note, a white wine that Van Duzer Vineyards makes in a crisp, dry style particularly well suited to a white wine.


Much more information about the winery and their wines is available on their site by clicking here.



Van Duzer pinot grapes



2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate – $23.39 (SRP is $32.00)

This wine is produced 100% Van Duzer Estate vineyard grapes.  The clonal breakdown of the grapes are: 22% Pommard, 20% Dijon 777, 19% Wädenswil, 12% Dijon 115, 9% Dijon 828, 9% Dijon 667, 8% Dijon 113 and 1% Dijon 114.


The coastal breezes that pass through the vineyards every afternoon greatly influence the grapes the winery uses.  In cool years, the breezes warm up the vineyard so it is warmer than most in the Willamette Valley.  In hotter years, the breezes cool down the vineyards so they are cooler than most in the valley.  In this vintage, a cool growing season, the grapes benefited from extended “hang time”.  The grapes were harvested from October 22 through November 1, just prior to the start of the fall rains.


This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a natural cork.  There was a total of 5,686 cases produced.


My Tasting Note

The wine is a bright ruby red color.  The enticing nose has cherries, stony minerals, baking spices, damp underbrush, white pepper and dried flowers.  This has medium body with soft to moderate tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate cherries, minerals and spice jump out first with white pepper and some underbrush coming in on the back end.  The finish has good length with a very slight green herbal note coming into the picture.  A very enjoyable value priced Oregon Pinot.  (90 pts)

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate

2011 Van Duzer Pinot Noir Estate



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Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.



Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.



All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.