BY ERIC DEGERMAN GREAT NORTHWEST WINE
NOVEMBER 24, 2020 06:21 PM,
UPDATED NOVEMBER 24, 2020 06:39 PM
In the world of wine, Pinot Noir might be the most cherished, celebrated and debated.
There’s a charm and a siren’s call surrounding it. It presents myriad challenges for viticulturists and winemakers who will use polite terms such as “finicky” in public when they would rather use the coarse and colorful language of the vineyard and the cellar.
As a result, Pinot Noir ranks among the most expensive for consumers to acquire because of the work to get the grapes ripe and the attention the wines demand in the cellar. That goes for its native home in Burgundy and in the Pacific Northwest.
And while the Willamette Valley of Oregon has earned its reputation for Pinot Noir, there are success stories elsewhere in the Northwest. And fans of Pinot love to make new discoveries.
Here are six examples of Pinot Noir in the Northwest that have shined in recent judgings. Ask for them at your favorite wine shop or order directly from the wineries, and serve them during the holiday season.
Panther Creek Cellars 2018 Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley $25: Tony Rynders creates single-vineyard wines from the likes of Carter, De Ponte, Kalita and Lazy River, and there are seven sites within his assemblage which is the flagship for Panther Creek. This is a cheerful wine with the fruity characteristics of fresh raspberry and blueberry. Tea like tannins underscore the cohesive structure and let the fruit shine. Berry pie ala mode sums up the berry, spice and vanilla that linger on.