Panther Creek turns 20 – Ken Wright should be Proud!

Panther Creek passes the 20 year mark!

Twenty years; my how time passes!  Stop for just a second and try to recapture a moment of your life-time from twenty years past.  That would have been somewhere near 1986 for the folks at Panther Creek (their 2006 release is adorned with the anniversary label).  Considering that 1984 was my “official” entry into the wine business, and considering I was still very, very wet behind the ears vinously speaking, I’d say that my most impressionable memories – professionally AND personally – were yet to come.  And for the great wine team at PANTHER CREEK, in that year of 1986, who could know that their greatest moments were years in front of them as well.

What began as a passion would soon become one of the great success stories of our time.  But before that moment of recognition, that great public awakening, there were certainly the times of intense labor and sleepless nights.  These were the days LONG before “Sideways”; days when Pinot Noir was far from the fashion plate it is today.  These were days in the 1980s and early 1990s when only the purest of palates would seek the fine and fickle Cepage Noir.  Days when Pinot was for only the few of us; the folks who knew of its luster and great inner beauty.

And yet the people of Panther Creek trudged on; daily working with their vineyard friends in search of that perfect single row of vines, that perfect single harvest among a half dozen picked.  Then, as if by divine intervention, the words were printed, the article was written.  The world’s most influential and powerful critic had descended into the lives of the owners of this beautiful winery, and had announced to the world his passionate opinion:

        “This winery has quickly established itself as one of Oregon’s finest producers.  The wines, which are Oregon’s most beautifully packaged are also among the most concentrated and ageworthy wines now being made in Oregon.  In less than 5 years, Panther Creek has established itself as one of the most consistent, high quality Oregon wineries.  Consumers who have not tasted a wine from this star should not hesitate…One of Oregon’s benchmark producers….”
                — Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

Think about it; case production numbers of less than 100 per each wine they offer.  And then the words of praise as you’ve just read.  Perhaps you’ll understand the severe scarcity of these treasures as we now find ourselves the very lucky – yet limited – recipients of the outstanding 20 year releases.  Wines from the greatest vineyards throughout Oregon, bottled by one of that state’s true elite! 


For details on vineyards and vintages available, contact me at the shop.

All the best in wine and life,

Christopher Massie
Diplome D’Honneur de Sommelier
2439 Times BLVD
Houston, TX 77005