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Panther Creek Cellars

Panther Creek News
November 17, 2017 | Panther Creek News

Seattle Times Includes Panther Creek's 2014 Schindler Vineyard Pinot Noir in "The Northwest’s Top 50 Wines"

Out of the thousands he tasted in 2017, Andy Perdue picks the best of the bunch.


Andy Perdue
Special to The Seattle Times

EACH YEAR, I taste thousands of wines, either as samples that arrive in my office or at competitions in which I participate.

Beginning in January, I taste with this list in mind, seeking out the most interesting offerings from our corner of the wine world. Some of these I tasted early in the year, and they stuck with me as extraordinary, for their clarity, style and purity of fruit.

A few thoughts about this year’s list:

• My Wine of the Year for 2017 is a merlot, the same as last year (though a different producer). Maybe this is a signal that we need to pay attention to this often-maligned grape again.

• I’ve always been cautious about filling this list with high-priced wines. That’s been a consistent complaint, which I addressed this year by adding a list for Top 50 wines $30 and under, which was published last week. There are some bargains there. (If a wine made this Top 50 list, I didn’t consider it for the $30-and-under one.)

• You might look over this list and ask yourself why several obvious top wineries are missing. It’s as simple as this: I base this on the wines I taste under blind conditions, meaning I know neither the producer nor the price during the evaluation process. Some producers choose not to submit their wines and, well, I cannot recommend them if I haven’t tasted them.

Without further ado, here are my Top 50 wines from 2017:

43. Panther Creek Cellars 2014 Schindler Vineyard pinot noir, Eola-Amity Hills, $50: I think Oregon’s most interesting wines come from the Eola-Amity Hills, and this pinot from a top longtime winery further proves that point.



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