Bethel Heights Estate Pinot noir Eola-Amity Hills 2021
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93 points Wine Spectator: "Sleek and handsomely structured, with expressive raspberry and red plum flavors laced with black tea, forest floor and hints of mineral, building tension toward medium-grained tannins. Drink now through 2031."
Bethel Heights' Estate has always been one of the value ambassadors of the Willamette Valley but the last few vintages and now specifically, the 2021 vintage, have significantly raised the bar. From vines as young as 2002 to the oldest vines from the late '70s, what strikes me anew every time I have the fortune to taste/drink it is that nothing is "taken away" during the composition of the Estate; it is the gateway to Bethel Heights and thus, the standard must be exceptional. 2021 is the first time that the newly acquired, next door neighbor Lewman vineyard appears in the Estate. -Marcus
Ben Casteel: The Pinot Noir Estate is always the best place to start when evaluating our success or shortcoming in any given vintage. It incorporates nearly all our estate vineyard in various amounts, and as such provides an honest evaluation of the year. The 2021 Estate Pinot Noir reflects the multifaceted nature of the vintage: the abundance of fruit from our early picks under sunny skies and the earthen complexity we found from our older vines picked in cooler October weather. Blending the Estate is often our most difficult task because it is our largest bottling each vintage, and thus includes both our successes and shortcomings. Thanks to diligent farming from our vineyard team, attention to detail, and a fantastic winemaking team for harvest, the 2021 Estate Pinot Noir contains only successes.
2016 vintage notes
93 points Wine Spectator: "Silky and vibrant, with spirited raspberry and violet aromas that open to effortlessly complex flavors of black cherry, black tea, cardamom and other dark spices. Drink now through 2024."
2014 vintage notes
92 points Wine Spectator: "Fresh and expressive, with depth to the plum, currant, floral and mineral flavors. Comes together seamlessly on the open-textured finish... Best from 2018 through 2024."
2012 vintage notes
92 points Wine Spectator: "Soft and appealing, with gentle blackberry and black plum flavors riding easily over polished tannins and lingering on the expressive finish. The tannins are well-integrated, the flavors persistent. Drink now through 2022."