Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2022
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2021 vintage notes
99 points The Wine Advocate: "The 2021 Pinot Noir Casteel comes from vines on the western side of the property, planted in 1992, 1996 and 1997. It's expressive and dynamic, offering surprising depth of flavor for its elegant frame. Medium ruby, it has layered scents of pomegranate, rhubarb and red cherry with accents of garrigue, aniseed, mossy bark and tea leaves. The medium-bodied palate is highly concentrated, its deep well of fruit streaked with touches of iron-like mineral character. It has powerful yet finely grained tannins and bursts of mouthwatering acidity that call you in again for another sip on the very long finish. This thrilling Pinot Noir offers just about everything you could want from this grape: alluring perfume, complex layers of spice and earth, harmonious structure and fantastic length."
Exactly what the best of Willamette Valley Pinot noir should taste like—it's not about cherries, berries, flowers, and spices (though I'll note, you'll have layer upon layer of all those and more) it is about perfect Pinot character and feel. 2021 Casteel puts purity in the front seat, power in the back, coasting with elegant density. The first Casteel that blends the original Bethel Heights Estate with contiguous Justice and Lewman Estate vineyards. -Marcus
94 points Wine Spectator: "Capturing the essence of Eola-Amity, this Pinot is deeply structured yet supple and generous, with raspberry and blueberry flavors accented by wet stone, clove and other dusky spices. Finishes with broad-shouldered yet polished tannins. Drink now through 2032."
Ben Casteel: The 2021 vintage was a moment to reflect on the Casteel blend. The components hadn’t changed for a number of years, having focused primarily on the western side of Bethel Heights. I’m not sure what compelled me to change it in 2021, but with our new Lewman Vineyard in the fold, it felt like a moment in time to see what could be accomplished among our now three estate vineyards. The 2021 Casteel Pinot Noir is the result of many hours spent with the team at the blending table to show the best of what the 2021 vintage had to offer. This is our only Pinot noir that carries our family name rather than a place name, which gives us considerable poetic license to select our favorite barrels from each vintage.
For many years Bethel Heights was recognized primarily for our limited bottlings of distinctive vineyard and block designated Pinot noir wines from our estate vineyard. In 2002 we took a new path and produced our first Casteel Pinot Noir, a blend of barrels from several different blocks, selected to express the epitome of that particular vintage at Bethel Heights. This is our only Pinot noir that carries our family name rather than a place name, which gives us considerable poetic license to select our favorite barrels from each vintage.
2019 vintage notes
98 points The Wine Advocate: "The 2019 Pinot Noir Casteel is powerful and expressive, with structure and perfume that promise a long life in the cellar. It explodes with aromas of black and blue berries, dried flowers and licorice, plus a singular streak of saline-like character. The medium-bodied palate is silty and seamless, with extraordinary floral perfume, layering and length."
2018 vintage notes
Perhaps the best aspect of epic vintages like 2018 is that they are gifts that keep giving. Winery release schedules are staggered; some 2018s are long gone and some won't come for another year. But let's focus on the present, the now, and what's in our glass: 2018 Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot noir.
After an outstanding visit to Bethel Heights last week, we can confirm that their 2018s are majestic. The flagship of them all, the only Bethel Heights Pinot to carry the family name, Casteel is Willamette Valley royalty, the epitome of the vintage.
What's so spectacular about the 2018? It begins with the nose, sensationally attractive and inviting! Then layer upon layer of fruit--some rich and creamy, some vibrant with fresh-off-the-vine energy. It has broad shoulders with tons of early appeal yet is beautifully chiseled underneath; the generous fruit conceals the taut muscular frame. The '18 Casteel can show you many sides--I think you'll love all of them. - Marcus
2017 vintage notes
Wine Spectator 93 points: "Polished and finely structured, with elegantly expressive raspberry, black tea and stony mineral notes that build tension toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2025."
2016 vintage notes
94 points Wine Advocate: "The nose of the 2016 Pinot Noir Casteel bursts from the glass with violet and lilac aromas over blueberry pie, cardamom, potpourri, bitter peel, tree bark and tilled loamy earth. Medium-bodied, the palate is packed full of blackberry and bramble berry preserves notes, with a wonderful frame of fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing very, very long with layer after layer of earth and savory notions."
2014 vintage notes
94 points Wine Advocate: "It has a crisp and very focused bouquet with dark plum, cranberry leaf and cold stone aromas that show impressive transparency. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very harmonious and cohesive with a supple texture, very pure with great tension and precision towards the finish. What a fabulous Pinot Noir -- world class.
2012 vintage notes
Nothing short of incredible. I'm asked all the time if certain wines are "really that good." Yes, this is really that good. It's better, in fact. One of my top Pinots of the 2012 vintage, f-ing wow! Sexy and supple, amazingly deep and rich yet stunningly elegant. So superbly integrated and balanced. - Marcus
Only 230 cases made, the 2012 is a blend of Dijon clone blocks from Bethel Heights' Estate Vineyard, planted in 1994 and 1996.