INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR, STEPHEN TANZER, JULY 2010
2008 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – 90($28) Bright ruby. Pungent, sexy scents of dried red fruits, star anise, allspice and rose. Lively and precise on entry, then gains flesh and breadth in the mid-palate, offering sweet raspberry and cherry compote flavors and showing no rough edges. The finish is juicy, seductively sweet and very long. A very impressive “basic” bottling that bodes well for the later-release single-site and reserve bottlings from this vintage.
2007 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Flat Block Eola-Amity Hills – 90($50) Full red. Fresh red fruits and potpourri on the nose, with hints of exotic spices and herbs. Silky and sweet, with finely etched red fruit and floral pastille flavors and no rough edges. Shows the graceful, balanced character of the best 07s, and finishes with very good clarity and lingering spiciness. This will age on its balance.
2007 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills – 90($50) Bright red. Sexy, complex scents of fresh red berries, incense and musky herbs. Supple, open-knit red fruit flavors are nicely spherical and precise, with a late note of white pepper adding vibrancy. This juicy wine is drinking very well now but its balance bodes well for cellaring.
2007 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve Eola Amity Hills – 90($60) Saturated ruby-red. Pungent, deeply pitched aromas of blackberry, cherry-cola, star anise and mocha, with a subtle floral quality that gains strength with air. Juicy, penetrating cherry and dark berry preserve flavors are framed by supple tannins that gain strength on the back half. At once rich and lively, with impressive finishing breadth, precision and spicy persistence. Shows very good depth for the vintage, as well as the briskness of the year, and should reward several years of bottle aging.