Now my fave de faves - Panther Creek. When Ken Wright struck out on his own, he left behind one the best wineries in Oregon - Panther Creek. Why is this my favorite Oregon winery? They have an incredible variety of vineyard designated wines and winemakers, Mike Stevenson and BillHanson. My favorite vineyard used to be Bednarick which is the northernmost vineyard in the portfolio, perhaps in the Willamette Valley. The weather at Bednarick is very erratic with such northern exposure, but in great years it is like a peacocks tail, a panoply of flavors. Unfortunately, because it is so erratic, Panther Creek has stopped making it. If you don't believe in "terroir" here's your chance to check it out. You can taste Shea, Freedom Hill, Vista and many other vineyards from the same winemakers and the same vintage. Notice any differences? Here's another secret. Mike produces his own label, Stevenson-Barrie and Bill makes Libra wines. They are very, very good and reasonably priced these are insider's wines - delicious and reasonably priced. If you can walk fifty yards you can check out Anthiny Dell-the 2005 Pinot was such full bodied and dark it reminded us of a Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges. Another fifty yards will bring you to Domenico, another home of excellent wine. Want to get away from it all? Check out Elk Cove. Truly a a little glade in the woods, home of one of the oldest wineries in Oregon, the elk gather here and you should, too, for one of the best, fruitiness, but dry, Pinot Gris. Want some really good value? Try Bethel Heights unoaked Chardonnay.
Welcome to the feast, fellow wine bloggers!