Panther Creek Cellars in Washington Wine Blog Review
Panther Creek- June 19, 2019
Panther Creek relies on the talented hands of eminent winemaker, Tony Rynders.
One of the historic Oregon wineries, Panther Creek was originally founded by famed winemaker Ken Wright in 1986. He gained national attention for his wines sourced from the Freedom Hill and Shea Vineyards. In 1994 Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent fame took over as consulting winemaker and produced some marvelous wines until he focused his talents on his own winery. The winery was acquired by Bacchus Capital in 2013 which led to the appointment of superstar winemaker Tony Rynders as consulting winemaker. This was a true game changing moment for Panther Creek as the quality of the wines immediately increased. In the last two years of releases I have seen a marked quality in the overall lineup as Rynders imparts his signature style that balances the tight rope between richness, texture and tension in the wines. The new wines are seriously good across the board. If you have not tried the Panther Creek lineup in years, these are definitely worth a look.
A downright killer value is the 2017 Panther Creek ‘Winemaker’s Cuvee’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 91) which is a blend of great vineyards across the Willamette Valley and shows off a silky texture and wonderful minerality and ripeness. I absolutely loved the new 2016 Panther Creek ‘Kalita Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 93) which has amazing earthy terroir and bright red fruits. Make sure to give this beauty some air before enjoying. Learn more about this outstanding producer of Oregon Pinot Noir at http://www.panthercreekcellars.com Here are the beautiful new wines by Panther Creek.
2017 Panther Creek ‘Willamette Valley’ Chardonnay- The 2017 ‘Willamette Valley’ Chardonnay is another great new wine from this storied Oregon winery. On the nose this shows toasty oak that wraps around orchard fruits and shades of kumquat that all connect in the glass. The palate has good freshness and a lovely, soft mouthfeel. Ripe pear and apple flavors lead the way on the palate, as this finishes very strong with vanilla cream. Enjoy this delicious wine over the next seven plus years. Drink 2019-2025- 90
2018 Panther Creek Chardonnay-Pinot Noir- The 2018 Chardonnay- Pinot Noir was entirely aged in stainless steel and is a sleek new release by the talented Tony Rynders. The aromatic expression is quite profound, ranging from melon tones to lemon zest and shades of salted Marcona almond that all give this a lifted presentation in the glass. The palate reveals a soft and silky mouthfeel, unveiling ripe cantaloupe, Pink Lady apple and Meyer lemon cream. Outstanding in its youth, this will evolve well for the next decade. Be sure to enjoy this at a warmer temperature for better aromatic and flavor range. Drink 2019-2029- 92
2017 Panther Creek ‘Winemaker’s Cuvee’ Pinot Noir- A blend of a host of Willamette Valley vineyards, the 2017 ‘Winemaker’s Cuvee’ is another silky Pinot Noir release from this Oregon winery that has shown a marked increase in quality since Tony Rynders took the helm. The aromatics are both bright and quite pretty, ranging from rose water to red cherry preserves and a semblance of cola with lighter peat moss undertones that mark the nose. The palate has great freshness and energy unveiling medium-bodied red cherry, red raspberry and cran-orange flavors with earthy undertones. Outstanding in its youth this will evolve well over the next decade. Drink 2019-2029- 91