Panther Creek Brut 1993
Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Panther Creek Cellars has been producing signature Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines since 1986. The winery has been recognized for its signature blends as well as single vineyard designate wines.
“Panther Creek has a storied history and I’m eager to build on that legacy,” says Tony Rynders, winemaker. “I have been making wine in Oregon for almost 20 years, and I look forward to beginning this chapter with one of Oregon’s most established Pinot Noir producers, founded by one of the wine industry’s great heroes, Ken Wright.”
Our goal, in making Panther Creek wine, is simple: We hope that each wine will express the personality of its vintage and character of its vineyard. This expressiveness is the essence of great Oregon Pinot Noir. Our wines are crafted to complement a variety of foods, as well as be enjoyed on their own. We believe that great Pinot Noir can be enjoyed as a young, fresh wine that showcases ripe, sweet fruit, as well as an older, mature wine that features unparalleled complexity and beauty.
One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a continental climate moderated by the influence of the Pacific Ocean, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture and the production of elegant wines.
Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation vineyard sites.
The valley's three prominent soil types (volcanic, sedimentary and silty, loess) make it unique and create significant differences in wine styles among its vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based, Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. In the most southern stretch of the Willamette, the Eola-Amity Hills sub-AVA soils are mixed, shallow and well-drained. The Hills' close proximity to the Van Duzer Corridor (which became its own appellation as of 2019) also creates grapes with great concentration and firm acidity, leading to wines that perfectly express both power and grace.
Though Pinot noir enjoys the limelight here, Pinot gris, Pinot blanc and Chardonnay also thrive in the Willamette. Increasing curiosity has risen recently in the potential of others like Grüner Veltliner, Chenin blanc and Gamay.
A term typically reserved for Champagne and Sparkling Wines, non-vintage or simply “NV” on a label indicates a blend of finished wines from different vintages (years of harvest). To make non-vintage Champagne, typically the current year’s harvest (in other words, the current vintage) forms the base of the blend. Finished wines from previous years, called “vins de reserve” are blended in at approximately 10-50% of the total volume in order to achieve the flavor, complexity, body and acidity for the desired house style. A tiny proportion of Champagnes are made from a single vintage.
There are also some very large production still wines that may not claim one particular vintage. This would be at the discretion of the winemaker’s goals for character of the final wine.