Wine Reviews: Penner-Ash

Posted by | Posted in Wine Reviews | Posted on 07-22-2017

Penner-Ash has earned wide consumer, restaurant and wine media respect for many years, and it’s easy to see why. For decades they have sourced fruit from some stunning Oregon vineyards: their estate vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, Shea Vineyard, Hyland Vineyard in McMinnville, Zena Crown in Eola Amity Hills. Their wines are what one may call terroir-driven, they are vibrant, complex wines with all sorts of unique nuances.

In a recent blind tasting of American Rieslings (detailed here), Penner-Ash showed quite well with their two Rieslings, a Willamette Valley AVA and one from a Hyland Vineyard-designated Riesling. So I was expecting goodness from the 2015 Riesling, and it delivered.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted. 

2015 Penner-Ash Riesling Old Vine Riesling Hyland Vineyard- Oregon, Willamette Valley, McMinnville
SRP: $35
Medium yellow color. On the nose, this bursts with white peach, lemon zest, apricot, an oily note, honeycomb, new tennis ball, yellow flowers – lots going on here! The palate is medium-bodied with brisk, mouth-watering acidity, and the wine feels near bone dry but shows plenty of ripe fruit (orange, lime, peaches). Balanced with saline, minerals, tennis ball, orange marmalade, a long, lingering finish. Complex, delicious, beautiful stuff. (90 points IJB)

2016 Penner-Ash Viognier- Oregon9yLJeno_y7sivRIK3wzrjq-TISAA_fKGiT33WiVj_YspX92IB
SRP: $30
Medium straw color with a slight spritz. So much floral explosion on the nose: honeysuckle, orange blossom, dandelion, along with honey, peach nectar, green pear and guava. Full-bodied and plump but not heavy due to the moderating acidity. Pulses with lime, guava and white peach, lots of floral perfume and orange blossom along with honeycomb, waxy notes, and a lingering sense of minerals and saline. Big but vibrant for Viognier, a very pretty interpretation. All stainless steel, sourced from vineyards in the Rogue and Columbia Valleys. (89 points IJB)

2015 Penner-Ash Pinot Noir Shea Vineyard- Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
SRP: $65
Pretty rose/ruby color. Takes time but opens up to show deep red currant, red and black cherries, rose petals, spicy white pepper, clove, tilled soil. Crisp acidity frames the palate so well, but the tannic structure provides plenty of support without being harsh, and the balance is superb. Graceful but tart red and black cherries, some cranberry, tons of spiced black tea, tobacco, rose petals, white pepper, sage and earthy, floral complexities that linger long on the finish. This is a tightly structured wine that will probably see its best days five years from now, and age beautifully, but this an impressive young Shea Pinot from Penner-Ash. (94 points IJB)

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