Penner Ash Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2017
For years, I have thought that Lynn Penner-Ash was one of the top vintners in Willamette Valley. And now, I am able to offer one of her stunning wines at a “find a happy home” price. Here’s the story:
Penner Ash Wine Cellars was born at Lynn and Ron Penner-Ash’s basement in 1998. At the time, Lynn was the CEO and chief winemaker of Rex Hill Winery (another great, although much, much larger Oregon Pinot Noir producer). Ron was a schoolteacher who had just won Teacher of the Year in Oregon. That first year , they produced 125 cases that they bottled by hand. They also hit the pages of Wine Spectator magazine and immediately sold out of the wine.
In 2001, this little winery moved out of the garage to a permanent home – the Dussin Vineyard. Lynn and Ron also found long-term investors in the persons of Tyanne and Chris Dussin. Having found a permanent home for the winery, Lynn left Rex Hill and Ron left public schools to focus on Penner-Ash full time. The result was the 2001 vintage of Pinot Noir, their second vintage to make the cover of Wine Spectator. More accolades followed as production grew to the still-tiny quantity of 3,000 cases.
This wine offers a beautiful nose expressive of ripe strawberries, pomegranates, and just a hint of baking spices. The palate is rounded and full of fruit (for a Willamette Pinot) with good acidity, minerality and structure. It’s so easy-drinking that every time I open a bottle, I just end up finishing it straightaway.
We here at Waterford started selling Penner Ash with the 2003 vintage. Yet for the last couple of years we lost her representation. With this vintage we’ve got ’em roaring back with a great price. Here is one of Oregon’s great producers of Pinot Noir!