Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $32
The Chambers family history in the Oregon wine history began decades ago with Silvan Ridge before adding Panther Creek in 2005. Last year, they sold the Panther Creek brand as a result of the passing of longtime Eugene businessman woman Carolyn Chambers — Liz’s mother. However Michael Stevenson continues to serve as the winemaker for this new project in the now-former Panther Creek facility in downtown McMinnville. The debut release from renowned Freedom Hill Vineyard and Lazy River Vineyard is redolent with cranberry, cherry and cola, and includes touches of moist earth and saddle leather. Its food-friendly structure pushes acidity just ahead of the cherry-skin tannins. Young’s Market serves as the distributor in Oregon and Washington, but the wine also is available in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Texas and our nation’s capital. The bottles can be quickly identified by the striking blue butterfly on the label — a tribute to Carolyn.
Production: 1,369 cases