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This bright and lusciously complex wine envelops the senses with an exquisite aromatic bouquet of açaí, guava, and papaya supported by ripe nectarines, coconut, white peach, and delicate white flowers. A lively array of ripe pear, melon and stone fruits glide across the palate with delightful citrus-driven acidity balanced by soft, savory minerality. Vivacious tropical notes linger beautifully on the long, enduring, and playful finish.
Illahe Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir begins with strawberry, tamarind, and blackberry then broaden along the palate to include chalk, tobacco leaf, chocolate, and earth. The acid supports a complete yet not overwhelming tannin balanced between skin and oak. The wine retains its velvet mouthfeel through a process of clarification by racking.
Illahe pinot gris is layered with complex fruit and starts with notes of crisp granny smith apple, bright lemon zest, and hints of clove, paired with light notes of papaya and starfruit. It is also influenced by the neutral oak it is vinified in, which adds creaminess and texture with lingering flavors of almond butter and a spicy finish of cardamom creates an exciting and flavorful wine that is sure to leave you wanting more.
This wine is approachable in its youth, with balanced tannins and a fruit forward character. The vast majority of fruit comes from the estate, supplemented by a limited amount from Napa Valley growers.
This crowd pleaser intrigues the senses with aromatics of vanilla, ripe black cherry, and cassis, layered with earthier notes of cedar and violet. This wine maintains its focus with nicely integrated tannins that deliver explosive flavors of blackberry jam and dried cranberries, mingled with pleasing undertones of leather and sweet French oak. The harmonious finish lingers with a kiss of oral essence balanced with an exciting menagerie of dried savory spices.
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"Our first ten vintages at Panek we worked with the same five blocks, one acre parcels of clones 4, 6, 7, 169 and 337. These five front blocks at Panek were all planted in 2006 and have been cane pruned since their inception. We always felt fortunate to have this much high-quality fruit to select from when finalizing the Panek blend every year. In 2018, the Panek family offered us the whole ranch, turning over the three older vine, cordon trained blocks in the back of the property. Not knowing quite what to expect, we vinified and barreled these separately. These naturally lower yielding parcels produced wines of enormous concentration and color. As we sat down to blend, we realized all of these wines were of single vineyard quality, some were even better than most of the blocks we had been working with the last ten years. Eventually we singled out a small block of clone 191 as the most logical addition to the 2018 Panek blend. This block added a tremendous amount of structure to the wine, something that is occasionally lacking from this site. It also darkened the fruit profile pushing the wine from a red/black profile to the a more purple/black expression. The vineyard signature is still there of course but feels fuller and more impactful. Purple flowers, graphite, cassis and smoke jump out of the glass at first inspection. The texture is more layered this year, due in part to both the vintage and the inclusion of a new block from the vineyard. The palate turns very stony early and then veers to blueberries, dark chocolate and some meaty, iron notes as the finish kicks in. I thought we had taken this about as far as we could with the 2016 but the 2018 is at another level."
-Thomas River's Brown on the 2018 Vintage