Wine Review: 2010 Van Duzer Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Wine Review: 2010 Van Duzer Estate Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Van Duzer Pinot Noir is a good example of a unique and focused strategy by a winery to improve their product and image while bringing value to the consumers that was not associated with this brand in recent vintages. Van Duzer has been a favorite of mine for almost a couple of decades now, but a few years back something changed at the winery and Van Duzer was not receiving the accolades they used to.  Owner Carl Thoma quickly decided to innovate and reorganize the way the winery was doing things.

Enter Jerry Murray, a Willamette Valley winemaker who garnered many 90+ scores from industry critics for the wines he made prior to coming aboard at Van Duzer.  The 2010 Van Duzer Willamette Valley Estate Pinot noir showcases a culmination of strong concentrated efforts towards improving every aspect of the wine making process. Those efforts include innovation in the vineyard, and an upgraded and unique application of technology in the winery.  The aromas of the wine are classically Willamette Valley; seductive and alluring red fruit resembling the ripest raspberry you have ever smelled mingled with sweet cherry and a hint of smoke these aromas waft from the glass as it is poured. As the wine cascades across your tongue and drips off the edge, the palette party begins. The flavors are pure and precise representing the refinement that exemplifies the Jerry Murray style of elegance in winemaking.

It is a medium-bodied wine that expresses a rich complexity and structured depth that belies the low 12.9% ABV.  Notes of dark fruit, earthy fall fauna and a bit of vanilla from the finely tuned barrel regimen complete the flavor profile. Texturally pleasing the wine finishes well delivering a parting waft of smokiness on the end. Serve this wine with simple flavors like salmon, mushrooms or lamb allowing the complexity and sophistication of the wine to be the star.

Today is the release of this fine elixir, and with only 4,300 cases produced, I recommend you stock up because they won’t be around long. I think my contemporaries would agree.

Check out the below video where I share my assessment with other Oregon Pinot Noir wine professionals.

Rating: Excellent (90) | $30 | 12.9% ABV

Find this wine to buy: Direct from the winery


About the Author:

Marc has held almost every position in the food & wine industry and is committed to Celebrating Hospitality with Pride. In addition to being the co-founder and editor-at-large for Enobytes, Marc is a wine blogger contributor to (Wine Bytes) and writes the Wine Knowledge column in the print magazine About Face. The Contra Costa County Times, San Jose Mercury News, Tacoma Times Tribune and Washington Post have either interviewed or quoted Marc on his viniferous and culinary opinions. Marc has also appeared on Portland's "Vine Time" on News Radio 750 KXL and on California's Central Coast "From the Growing of the Grape to the Glass" on KUHL-AM 1410. He is also the author of A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy. While continuing to tenaciously search for what he may finally proclaim as his favorite wine Marc is relentless in his quest for the ultimate food and wine experience.

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