Panther Creek Cellars 2014 French Creek Vineyard Chardonnay
Columbia Valley, $35
Washington viticulturist Damon Lalonde presented some of the state’s oldest Chardonnay to winemaker Tony Rynders, who shines with these Wente clone vines established near Prosser in 1981. Once in the Willamette Valley, Rynders devoted 16 months to a barrel program of 28% new French oak. That helps give it a theme of light toast, pear and Golden Delicious apple with pleasant touches of lemon curd and lime zest. This is the only wine in the Panther Creek portfolio that’s grown outside of the Willamette Valley, but it’s one of the Washington’s most prized sites.
Production: 175 cases