Panther Creek Pinot Noir 2014: This Willamette Valley winery doesn’t lack for history: Founded by Oregon legend Ken Wright in 1986, more recently it was bought by Bacchus Capital Management — the same firm that invested in Qupé in 2011 — and they installed Tony Rynders from Domaine Serene as consulting winemaker.

What that means in the bottle is well-tended fruit, plus some serious barrel-aging in 47 percent new oak — so a wine more fruit-forward and bigger than your typical Oregon pinot. Yet it still has that earthiness you might expect from Willamette Valley and a lot of bass notes for a pinot. It’s a bit young, so let that bottle breathe, or hide it in your cellar for a few rewarding years.



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