2016 Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley) by Panther Creek Cellars

Today’s occasion: 2016 Pinot Noir (Schindler Vineyard – Willamette Valley, OR) by Panther Creek Cellars, Woodinville, WA.

Rich ruby color. Out of the bottle, nose is a little shy with notes of damp slate, and a touch of ripe berries. Swirl vigorously to unlock bursts of sweet cherry, damp leather consistent with sedimentary soils, and a crisp caramel consistent with neutral oak so faint, you’d likely miss it.

Body is balanced right from the start. Light, bright but restrained acidity goes hand-in-hand with thin, crisp tannins reminiscent of dark cherry. This provides a measured amount of structure and good balance. Oak renders a silky mouth feel while minerality and fruit conspire to create dry, tart, slightly bitter cola-like essence upon the palate. This marks the transition to finish as the palate wrestles between dry and moist eventually ending dry with a subtle spicy tingle. Wet rock mineral essence permeates the entire experience. A subtle but notable star anise becomes more pronounced as it opens up over 1-2hrs.

Of their entire lineup of amazing Pinot Noir, I can see why this stood out the most – Terroir. It is terroir driven, front and center, start to finish. This is the mark of a great winemaker – a mere costodian of the grapes, allowing the vines to fully express themselves so intricately. At 100 cases, this is precisely the kind of wine I obsess over. I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the greater Seattle area.

Nicely done Panther Creek!

Read more Panther Creek Cellars on WineSnob.

Be sure to check the out the Panther Creek Cellars, website for occasional bundles, specials and opportunities. They are currently offering a Holiday Bundle. It’s a great opportunity to explore their signature wines. See link below.

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