We're used to picking a standout within a winery's line-up. But what about when the winery is the standout?
We've spent the last couple days tasting yet another beautiful Pinot from Bethel Heights -- Aeolian 2017. Our conclusion: Bethel Heights is a standout among the entire Willamette Valley 2017 vintage. Based on what we've tasted at the winery in bottle and barrel, get used to it.
Bethel Heights Aeolian '17 is here today, fresh off its 94 from Wine Spectator this week. Get it. And if you've not already added the best vintage of Casteel Pinot to your stash, we'll give you another chance.
$39.55 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($43.95 regular)
94 points Wine Spectator: "Shows grace and presence, with compelling and complex raspberry, dusky spice and orange tea flavors that build richness toward polished tannins. Drink now through 2026."
Us: Too many words, too little space. A mix of elegance, luxury, and energy. It simply feels wonderfully and drinks deliciously right when opened and today, after 48 hours.
The winery: The goal of the Aeolian is always refinement. While certain parts of the estate lend themselves to more boisterous or rustic examples of Pinot noir depending on the vintage, for the Aeolian in each vintage we are trying to find the blend that best expresses our ideal of Bethel Heights purity, elegance, grace and balance. Named for the wind that defines our Eola-Amity Hills AVA, the Aeolian Pinot noir is our vehicle to explore the dynamic evolving landscape that we farm.
And in case you haven't added the best vintage of Casteel Pinot noir to your collection yet, now is the time!
$69.25 in any 12 bottle or Build a Case order ($76.95 regular)
It's no secret that I believe 2017 to be a spectacular vintage for Willamette Valley Pinot, a classic in the making. Talk to winemakers and you'll hear the same thing. I love the '17 Casteel because it's broad shouldered yet perfectly chiseled, delivering sumptuous fruit for the part of my brain that loves that and tons of electric intrigue for the other part. It strikes me at different moments as outgoing, then contemplative, even slyly mysterious. It exists outside the realm of a typical tasting note -- who needs "berries and spices" when you can have ethereal completeness? Not me. I urge you to add this to your collection, to savor it for days, to stash some for the future.
This is Willamette Valley Pinot noir royalty on full display. The only Bethel Heights Pinot that carries the family name, representing their favorite barrels, the epitome of the vintage.
And when Ben Casteel -- one of the most talented and most humble winemakers in the Valley --poured the '17 Casteel for me yesterday, my impression was confirmed. Ben said, "I think this is one of the best we've made." I corrected him. "The best." - Marcus
We're looking forward to helping you with an order. Thanks for your support; have a great weekend!
Marcus and Andy