Panther Creek Cellars

Owner(s) Bacchus Capital
Web site www.panthercreekcellars
Link to this site
Panther Creek Cellars

Panther Creek Cellars, located in McMinnville, OR, has been producing Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay since 1986. The more recent history of the winery is told in the charming book written by Linda Kaplan, whose spouse, Ron, quit his law firm in Des Moines and bought Panther Creek Cellars. With little wine knowledge, the story details their trials and tribulations. Liz Chambers and family members were the second owners who passed the name and brand on to Bacchus Capital, a San Francisco-based private equity firm. Chambers and family retained the winery in McMinnville and plan to launch a new label, Elizabeth Chambers Cellars. In 2013, Bacchus Capital hired winemaker Tony Rynders replacing Michael Stevenson. Stevenson will be the winemaker for the Elizabeth Chambers label and continue to make wine under his own label, Stevenson-Barrie, at the same winery.

Grapes are sourced from well-known vineyards in the Willamette Valley and the winery is known for producing consistently high quality vineyard-designated PInot Noirs including wines from Shea Vineyard, Temperance Hill Vineyard, and Freedom Hill Vineyard. The winery is in McMinnville's former power plant in downtown McMinnville. The tasting room is located inside the main winery production area and is open daily. The wines are sold through the winery's online store.

Reviewed Wines

2009 Panther Creek Cellars Shea Vineyard Yamhill-Carlton Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 925 cases, $45. Current release. Willakenzie soils over fractured sandstone. Clones 114, 667, 777, Pommard and Wädenswil. Aged 16 months in 30% new and 70% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, briar, cigar box and hickory are inviting. A generous wine with flavors of black cherry and black raspberry that fan out nicely on the palate, complimented by oak flavors that fold in nicely. The fruit is plush yet vibrant with an obvious esteemed pedigree. The wine aims to please with a generous burst of fruit on the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed October 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 Libra Mystic Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 175 cases, $25. From Panther Creek Cellars. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of oak and cigar box with black and red fruits in the background. Dilute flavors of cherries and berries with plenty of oak-driven toast and mocha. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Deserves a few years in the cellar. Decent. Reviewed August 11, 2011 ARTICLE »