Brittan Vineyards Pinot Noirs – Lovers of Great Burgundy, It Doesn’t Get Much Better!

Brittan Vineyards

I’ve been at the Burgundy game for 30 years; tasting my way through every village of the Cote, north to south and back again. I’ve personally visited with vignerons through thick and thin on more than 2 dozen occasions. It’s maddening some times, the elusive bottle of mind-bending Pinot.

Oregon ain’t no picnic either, might be even more frustrating. Pinot won’t be tamed, tricked, cajoled, manipulated, masked. Cabernet? Grow it anywhere; it’ll still show its stuff. Try that with Pinot and you might as well sell it off to the distillery.

Estimates put the top performers – those who garner the BIG points – at less than 1% of all growers.

So imagine the look on my face when reading the headlines in the Wine Advocate,

“Brittan’s wines with low pH and firm acidity (without sacrificing flavor) are sure to send bolts of rapture through lovers of great Burgundy” .

Visions of Mortet went dancing through my head. Let me conclude by saying, any bottles remaining after this pre-sale will find themselves quietly resting next to verticals of Aubert’s best in my cellar.

Don’t dilly dally…

Available for a short time…


And here


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

Domaine Serene – American Grand Cru Topples DRC!

Attention Fans of Greatness,

Without taking a breath, name the 5 greatest Pinot Noir producers in the world.  Ready?  Go.  Domaine de la Romanee Conti (AKA: DRC) was everyone’s first, I’d be willing to bet.  The following 4, after everyone named DRC first, could be a mixture from anywhere in the world, West Coast throughout the Cote D’Or, perhaps even a name or two from New Zealand.  But the fact that everyone places their bull’s-eye square on DRC is the point of this opening exercise.

And it’s precisely this exercise that a winery known as Domaine Serene took to task as they set out to show the world just how profound and magical a Pinot Noir was being bottled at Serene’s estate in Dayton Oregon.  So ethereal are these coveted Pinot Noirs, owned by Ken and Grace Evenstad since 1989, that these wines represent one of only 2 to be declared a 5-star producer of Oregon Pinot Noir according to Robert Parker.  From the moment that ranking hit the charts, Serene had one more goal to attain.

Serene entered their Pinots in the now famous and often written about “Domaine Serene vs. Domaine de la Romanee Conti” blind tasting.  Attended by wine professionals from across the country and the globe, this tasting pitted the most expensive and popular wines of Burgundy against what was, at the time, an upstart Oregon producer.  The wines were bagged and tagged and the tasting was under way.  The wines were scored, the bags removed and the results tallied. 

Domaine Serene toppled Domaine de la Romanee Conti!  Outscoring their most expensive offers by more than just a couple of points, Serene put the world on notice.  So famous were the results of this event that Anthony Dias Blue, renowned European wine critic declared Serene, “The Chateau Lafite of Oregon”; an American First Growth to be certain!

Today, I am proud to make available each of the 3 current offers from this amazing estate.  Precious few bottles remain after this past Saturday’s Collector’s Event, so I’d suggest that if anyone reading this has intentions of securing a few bottles, they DON’T DILLY DALLY….

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All the best!
Christopher Massie
Diplome D’Honneur de Sommeliere