The Panther Creek Cellars tasting room is located in Dundee, Oregon and serves surprisingly bold Oregon Pinot noir. They have a modern, open space with a black and red color scheme.
Overall, I enjoyed their single vineyard Pinot noirs and the style of their Chardonnay. Here’s what we tasted;
- 2013 French Creek Chardonnay – This is a delicious Chardonnay. It’s 100 percent oak but only 30 percent was new oak. It was like silk and summer melons.
- 2014 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris – It smelled pretty sweet, but was more balanced on the palate. Pretty crisp, but I don’t typically like Pinot Gris.
- 2013 Winemaker’s Cuvee Pinot Noir – Created after the single vineyard Pinots. Bright raspberries and red berries. AVAs of the fruit include Dundee Hills, Yamhill-Carlton and Eola Amity.
- 2013 De Ponte Vineyard Pinot Noir – My favorite of the flight, from vineyards on Jory volcanic soil. Feminine and spicy, with minerality that’s uniquely Dundee.
- 2013 Lazy River Vineyard Pinot Noir – Willakenzie soil with spice on the nose and a soft, earthy dark fruit. Our server said this wine has higher pH levels, which create for the softer qualities.
- 2013 Schindler Vineyard Pinot Noir – Eola Amity Hills AVA, new wine and very young. It has a bit too much tannin right now.
- 2013 Kalita Vineyard Pinot Noir – This one is age-worthy, nice and complex with a medium finish. It has an almost gamey leathery feel.
I learned a little bit about winemaking and yeast strains! Cold maceration changed the winemaking game around the 80s, allowing winemakers to choose the yeast strain they use to make the wine. Many winemakers say native yeast is best, but our server said that you can smell some distinction at first then the differences fade away. Some of the older yeast strains aren’t working as well in the increasingly warm weather and there ends up being too much alcohol in the wine.
Panther Creek Cellars is located at 110 SW Hwy 99W, Dundee, Oregon.
They are open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.