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Panther Creek Freedom Hill Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP91
0% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • W&S90
  • RP91
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2006 Pinot Noir Freedom Hill Vineyard was aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak. Dark ruby-colored, the enticing bouquet exhibits spice notes, pomegranate, and assorted black fruits. On the palate, earth notes and cola make an appearance. Nicely structured with good depth, concentration, and balance, it should evolve for 2-3 years and drink well through 2020.
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Panther Creek

Panther Creek

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Panther Creek, Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
2006 Freedom Hill Pinot Noir
Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, Panther Creek Cellars has been producing signature Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines since 1986. Founded by the acclaimed winemaker Ken Wright, Panther Creek has been recognized for its signature blends as well as single vineyard designate wines. The winery has been credited by Robert Parker, Jr., "as one of the most consistent, high quality Oregon wineries" and "producing some of Oregon’s most concentrated and age worthy wines." Panther Creek wines today are being made by the highly acclaimed Tony Rynders.

Eola-Amity Hills

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Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), and marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils create vines that produce small grapes with great concentration. Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the VanDuzer corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidities in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

GEC950542_2006 Item# 102908