Want to know what the critics have to say about Bethel Heights for current and past vintages? We’ve got the highs (and sometimes the lows) for you to ponder.
Wine Spectator, November 2014
Glass smooth and polished, brimming with boysenberry, plum, rhubarb pie and exotic spice flavors, coming together into a taut, medium-weight and expressive finish, persisiting impressively. Drink now through 2022. -H.S.2012 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block - 94
Fleshy, open-textured and light on its feet, with pretty strawberry and tomato leaf flavors that widen into red plum and spice elements as the finish expands and lengthens. Drink now through 2022. -H.S.2012 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Illahe Vineyard - 94
Firm and focused, in an expansive style, this light-footed version melds black currant, plum and delecate spice flavors into a mouthfilling package that floats long through the finish. Drink now through 2022. -H.S.
San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné, December 5, 2014
2012 Bethel Heights Estate Eola-Amity Hills Chardonnay ($28, 13.5%): A property better known for its Pinot, but cousins Ben and Mimi Casteel have also put forward one of Oregon’s best Chardonnay examples, from plantings that include own-rooted Wente clones dating to 1977. Fermented in mostly old oak, it’s graceful and tangy, and shows a terrific breadth: lime peel, quince, casaba melon, wet stones, plus a classic juiciness.
San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonné, October 31, 2014
2012 Bethel Heights Aeolian Eola-Amity Hills Pinot Noir ($42, 13.7%): Cousins Ben and Mimi Casteel are putting this stalwart property on an auspicious future track. Their Aeolian is a mix of vines about 15 to 20 years old in windier sections of their exposed Salem property, and it’s tightly wound in the way Oregon wines used to be. Even as it opens, it’s a sleek wine: bayberry and Bing cherry, more mineral and floral, not revealing an ounce of fat.
“Oregon’s ripe 2012 vintage — either a crowd-pleaser or a bit of a snooze, depending on your view. The good news: Several classic properties — Willakenzie, Brick House, Bethel Heights, to name three — were in fine form, finessing what could have been a forgettable year. Their wines show a welcome constancy against the whims of style.” Read more (sub req)
Wine & Spirits Magazine, October 2014
The aroma on this wine brings to mind warm apples in the sun, the fragrance touched by oak and finely integrated on the palate. The salinity of its texture gives it energy, grip and precision, with enough detail to merit pairing with coq au vin blanc.2012 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Eola-Amity Hills - 94
This has a dark resolve. Its red plum and floral scents, its focus and depth all gain with a day of air. But its texture is the marvel here, firm and muscular, with an acidity that gives the wine an almost propulsive quality. Decant it for leg of lamb.
Wine & Spirits Magazine, June 2014
Vinous and concentrated, this has a tannic undergirding that seems a hallmark of the 2011 vintage. There’s nice polish to the texture, a vinous core supporting dried plum and black cherry scents, and a subtle earthiness that suggests squab as a pairing.Bethel Heights 2011 Eola-Amity Hills Estate Flat Block Pinot Noir – 91
Lean and taut, this wine’s scents of rye and lavender rise out of a core of dark cherry fruit. It’s lean, in keeping with the vintage, and could use a little time in the cellar for its elements to coalesce.