Elizabeth Chambers Cellar is proudly releasing their first vintage. We are happy to be among the first to sample their Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir.
Elizabeth Chambers Cellar is located in McMinnville, Oregon, that’s Oregon Pinot Noir territory, in the winery formerly occupied by Panther Creek. Oregon winemaker Ken Wright founded Panther Creek in 1986, producing single vineyard Pinot Noir until launching Ken Wright Cellars in 1990 and selling Panther Creek, which the Chambers family purchased in 2005.
The family sold the Panther Creek name and brand in 2013, but not the winery in McMinnville. Former Panther Creek winemaker Michael Stevenson is continuing to make wines for Elizabeth Chambers Cellar.
Liz’s mother was a collector of butterflies. The blue butterfly on every label, capsule top and cork is a tribute to her. She encouraged Liz to follow her dream of making quality Pinot Noir. Liz is a 3rd generation Oregonian.
While Elizabeth Chambers Cellar is a new name in Oregon Pinot Noir, the winemaking team has over 20 years’ experience in the Willamette Valley. Liz and Michael purchase grapes from the well-regarded Freedom Hill Vineyard and Shea Vineyard for their single vineyard bottling and the signature blend. Their current production is 3,500 cases.
Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir — light ruby in the glass with aromas of berry bramble and spices. Flavors of cherries and earth mingle with a hint of smoke. Tannins are silky smooth in this light-bodied wine which has good acidity and a medium length finish. This wine gains complexity and depth of flavor as it sits in the glass. ABV 13.3%. SRP $32.
The Winemaker’s Cuvée will be a custom blend every vintage. The fruit for this cuvée is sourced primarily from Freedom Hill Vineyard and from selected blocks of the Lazy River Vineyard. The wine was aged in mostly used oak for 10 months.
Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée Pinot Noir is a wine I would choose to drink in warmer weather. It’s light bodied yet flavorful, the perfect combination for warm weather and the lighter meals that are typical of the season. We enjoyed it with baked chicken, smashed sweet potatoes and string beans. Nice combination.
If you’re impatient, decant this wine to develop flavors quickly. It you like to sit and sip your wine and taste its evolution in the glass, then don’t. Either way this is an enjoyable bottle of wine in a less fruit-forward, elegant style.
Elizabeth Chambers puts it well, “It may be because I am a woman, but I am not interested in seeing who can make the wine with the biggest muscles. I want to drink wines that have table manners, wines that dance. I want elegance and style in my wines.” This wine achieves those goals.
It was a pleasure to taste and review the Elizabeth Chambers Cellar 2011 Winemaker’s Cuvée. While the wine was provided to us as a tasting sample by Gregory White, a strategic marketing and public relations agency, our opinions are our own.