TN: 1995 Panther Creek Shea Vineyard Pinot noir

Tonights OTBN bottle - my last bottle of the wine that made me fall for Oregon Pinot noir.

Dark blackish purple, but crystal clear. While it initially had some stronger black fruit notes (that were more prominent when it was younger, and used to be more prominent in Shea wines), it moved more toward notes of black tea, black cherry, dried flowers, and forest floor. Ample bodied with a still substantial mouthfeel. While the structure has softened, it is still fine tannined, with tart acids, and a 20-second finish. Fully developed and, if past its peak, it is still a great wine. (After three hours open the fruit was all red, I started getting some greener notes, and it started to thin a bit - which says to me that it is running out of time. But wow, for a couple of hours it still showed the greatness that it showed more than a decade ago.) And how many people thought, when 1995’s were released, that an Oregon PN would still be such a fine wine fifteen years on? I can’t say enough about this wine, that I believe was made while Mark Vlossak was still winemaker at PC. No doubt that it remains one of the ten finest wines I’ve ever had.

thanks for the note, Chris. Goes to show you just never know when all the elements will come together, the planets will line up and … against all odds … a great wine emerges. Can’t say I’ve had any 95s that have been even memorable, but I’m delighted to hear what a nice experience this was for you. ahhh…the magic of wine.



For sure a spectacular wine from a pretty bad vintage. Goes to show that it can be done!

Wow- High praise indeed. I’m digging the aged duck juice notes! Keep em coming. You would fit right into some of the tasting we’ve had in the past and a few that will be coming up in the future. [welldone.gif]

Thanks - this probably is the last of anything I have from 95 or ealier. I’ll pop a 96 Elk Cove Roosevelt tonight or later in the week. I’ve seen a lot of bottle variation in that one the last couple of years - the worst were thin, red-fruited, obviously over the hill; the best were stunning & complex (I’d ordered a case from the winery probably 5 years ago, after it was a standout wine in a big tasting of 96’s).

Nice to hear this wine can show well. I’ve only had the '99 (several times unfortunately) which was always a hard, tannic beast.