Today we share the great wines of the 2015 vintage in the Willamette Valley. What is considered by most to be a stunning vintage, 2015 in Oregon meant warmth and consistency. 2015 fell between two other warm vintages, 2014 and 2016. I fondly recall the bold flavors coming from this vintage, as wines seemed to push richness but also have good underlying acidity. Bud break came several weeks early and most of the Willamette Valley saw higher than average temperatures during spring. A consistently warm summer saw harvest evolve earlier than most vintages. Just like 2014, the 2015 vintage yielded a large fruit set and large crop of ripe fruit. Sometimes when Oregon Pinot Noir is released, they need several years in the bottle. I always felt that the 2015 Oregon Pinots were sensational and very expressive once released.
2015 Panther Creek ‘Carter Vineyard’ Pinot Noir-The ‘Carter Vineyard’ is located at the southern end of the Eola-Amity hills AVA and was planted all the way back in 1983. This comes off very bright and beautiful on the palate, showing nice richness and underlying tension. Beautiful red fruits collide with citrus blossom water and shades of salty volcanic earth. This finishes very long, as this beauty is already singing now at the eight year mark. Enjoy now and over the next seven years. Drink 2023-2028- 92
2015 Panther Creek ‘Red Stripe Cuvee’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Red Stripe Cuvee’ is a wine club wine from a host of Willamette Valley Vineyards. It is very pretty and round on the palate, with red rose petals, red cherry, orange rind and salty soil flavors. This is already beautifully evolved so enjoy now and over the next several years. Only 50 cases made. Drink 2023-2028- 92
2015 Panther Creek ‘Lazy River Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This 2015 Yamhill-Carlton bottling comes from this site which is located west of the town of Yamhill. Quite translucent once in the glass, this opens with aromas of walnut and burnt orange alongside red cherry candy and enoki mushroom. The palate is very soft and approachable, with a smooth texture. Layers of ripe red raspberry, pomegranate and guava all meld together with allspice dusted orange rind, copious minerals and light peat moss undercurrents on the palate. Very lithe and polished, with good length, this is delicious lighter to medium-bodied Pinot Noir that is really starting to hit its stride. Drink 2023-2029- 92