Painting The Picture: Flâneur Wines’ Willamette Valley Chardonnay Program

Starting With The Land & The Hand

The magic of Willamette Valley Chardonnay lies in its ability to showcase both its terroir and the craftsmanship of its winemakers. At Flâneur Wines, this journey starts with our La Belle Promenade Vineyard and the skilled hands of our winemakers. Our La Belle Promenade Vineyard, located in the Chehalem Mountains AVA, a sub region of the greater Willamette Valley AVA, is the source of fruit for each of our three distinctive Willamette Valley Chardonnays.

La belle Promenade Vineyard at sunset

The vineyard’s geological diversity, predominantly volcanic parent material, contributes to the unique profiles of our Willamette Valley Chardonnays. In the rocky sections, Chardonnays exhibit focus, energy, citrus tones, and brilliant acidity. Conversely, the more decomposed and rich soils toward the vineyard’s east and west produce Chardonnays with greater weight, richness, and floral tones. These variations allow us to craft a kaleidoscope of tastes, textures, and aromas, akin to an artist layering oils on a canvas. Each Willamette Valley Chardonnay in our portfolio—La Belle Promenade Chardonnay, Cuvée Constantin Chardonnay, and Bon Vivant Chardonnay—is intentionally crafted to portray a unique picture, each compelling and exciting.

La Belle Promenade Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

The La Belle Promenade Chardonnay is a unique portrait of the same vineyard each year. By design, it has the most symmetry, balancing the mineral, saline, and lemon-like tones of the rocky sections of the vineyard with just enough of the richness from the decomposed sections of soil. Consequently, this Willamette Valley Chardonnay consistently reflects the vineyard’s balance year after year.

Bottle of La Belle Promenade Chardonnay
La belle Promenade chardonnay | $60
The 2021 La Belle Promenade Chardonnay presents a lovely glistening light lemon core with a watery rim. Sweet and spicy on the nose, with elements of grilled cinnamon and sugar white peaches, crushed volcanic rock, dried thyme, and dried pineapple. Round and full on the palate, with balanced acidity levels and a fruit-forward and toasted hazelnut finish that completes the wine.
94 points, international wine report
Jeremy Young

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Cuvée Constantin Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Like painting with thick oil paints layered on top to create deep textures and bold colors, the Cuvée Constantin Chardonnay has always been a feast for the senses. In the late afternoon light, our blocks of Chardonnay to the west are saturated. As a result, the skins thicken and are imbued with a golden kiss that produces notes of candle wax, honey, and graham. On their own, they can be full and powerful. After fermentation, we hunt for the barrels that show this character and blend back just enough acid and freshness from the surrounding blocks to fashion a wine that plays heavy on style. Additionally, a complex mix of French and Austrian oak is layered on top, just enough to make the richness of the wine stand out, but not so much as to become the dominant tone. Indeed, with a few years of age, this Willamette Valley Chardonnay always shows best.

bottle of cuvee Constantin chardonnay
Cuvée Constantin chardonnay | $50
A light lemon-gold core with a silvery rim presents nicely in the glass on the 2020 Constantine Chardonnay that is fermented in 25% new French and Austrian oak. A stunning nose of crushed volcanic rock, sweet spice, Meyer lemon curd, and marzipan play well together. The palate is more earthy and saline, with flavors of white wildflowers, sea breeze, and a hint of iron that hits the front palate.
93 points, International Wine Report
Jeremy Young

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Bon Vivant Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

The Bon Vivant Chardonnay, as its name implies, is in a class by itself. Each year, as we taste through our cellar, certain barrels rise to the top. It could be their sense of decadent power, or their graceful precision and minerality that draw us to those barrels. Consequently, each time we revisit these special barrels, the blurry image of the final composition begins to take form. Ultimately, in the end, it is our yearly masterstroke: our most complex and layered wine. With a full spectrum of ripe fruits, layers of floral aromas are gilded with the brilliant spice from new oak. Truly, the Bon Vivant is a true masterpiece of a Willamette Valley Chardonnay.

bottle of Bon Vivant Chardonnay
bon Vivant Chardonnay | $95
Selecting only the best barrels from the vintage, the 2020 Bon Vivant sports a gorgeous light, but moves to a medium lemon core with a silvery rim in the glass. Starting off with some crushed rock and flint minerality on the nose, it follows up with notes of grilled lemon, fresh white peach, warm allspice, and hints of cedary herbs. Elegant and refined on the palate, the lush mouthfeel pops with stone-fruit goodness and shades of white grapefruit citrus, ending with a toasty cinnamon aspect on the back palate. Highly recommended.
96 points, International Wine Report
Jeremy Young

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