One of the oldest wineries in the Willamette Valley, Panther Creek was founded in 1986 by Ken Wright. The winery focuses on signature blends as well as single vineyard designate wines. Panther Creek utilizes the talents of superstar winemaker, Tony Rynders, who leads Tendril and is a former winemaker at Domaine Serene. Tony has spent over 20 harvests spanning the globe, from France to Australia. He is truly one of the best Oregon winemakers out there.
I recently visited this winery to check out their new release wines and was very impressed, particularly how their Pinot Noir wines turned out in the challenging 2013 vintage. I really liked their 2013 Panther Creek ‘Winemaker’s Cuvee’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 90) which was earthy, mineral driven and showed a wonderful Burgundian feel. Even better was their 2014 Panther Creek ‘Winemaker’s Cuvee’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 91) which had deeper concentration and more dark fruits while maintaining a great acid streak. Learn more about these excellent wines at http://www.panthercreekcellars.com Here are the new release wines by Panther Creek
2015 Panther Creek Pinot Gris- This bright colored Pinot Gris was sourced from three Vineyards in the Eola Amity Hills. The wine begins with aromatics of starfruit, citrus blossom and lychee leading to flavors of white peach, white flowers and Gala apple. Drink 2017-2021- 89
2013 Panther Creek ‘Winemakers Cuvée’ Pinot Noir- This wine begins with aromas of red currant, black cherry and forest floor. This leads to flavors of pomegranate, cranberry and red cherry with orange rind. This has wonderful structure and a lithe minerality. Drink 2017-2026- 90
2014 Panther Creek ‘Winemakers Cuvée’ Pinot Noir-This deep colored Pinot Noir wine opens with dense aromatics of black cherry, black olive and forest floor with shiitake mushroom. The earthy tones really accentuate this wine well. This leads to flavors of black cherry, black tea and wet stone with black truffle. Drink 2017-2027- 91
2013 Panther Creek ‘Kalita Vineyard’ Pinot Noir-This translucent colored Pinot Noir wine begins with aromas of red currant, red cherry and cranberry leading to flavors of cranberry, red currant, and pomegranate seed with light tannins. Drink 2017-2026- 90
2014 Panther Creek ‘Kalita Vineyard’ Pinot Noir-This excellent wine is currently showing a darker profile than the 2013 ‘Kalita’ bottling, this excellent Pinot Noir wine begins with aromatics of forest floor, black truffle and pomegranate. The mouthfeel is dense, which is leading to ripe flavors reminiscent of black tea, black cherry and pomegranate seed with forest floor accents. Drink 2017-2028- 91