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 & Spirits Magazine, April 2013
The wine marries place and vintage with effortless grace. Its generous dark cherry and plum scents flow into a seamless, to-the-rim fullness of flavor, grounded by a dark basalt minerality, which seems to give the wine energy and propulsion. The tension between fruit and structure, between grip and give, makes this wine the sort to age--or
enjoy now with grilled salmon.
From a site planted in 1979 with the Pommard clone on its own roots, this wine is structured, dense and full of potential energy. Its dark plum scents balance a note of tar, the savory and the sweet in a fine tension. The flavors are dark and earthy, marked by minerality that seems to command the palate without overwhelming it.
The Wine Spectator, February 2013
Fresh and lively, showing citrusy tamarind accents around a racy core of green pear fruit. Should benefit from a year or two in the cellar. Drink now through 2015.2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve - 94
($60) Smooth, round and expressive, light-footed but bursting with currant, blackberry and ﬂoral ﬂavors, hinting at mint and wet stone as the ﬁnish lingers effortlessly against ﬁne-grained tannins. Drink now through 2020. - H.S.2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block - 92
Dark and spicy, with a floral quality to the blackberry and cherry fruit, all flowing smoothly over an open-weave frame. Lingers with tantalizing deftness. Drink now through 2018.
The Wine Advocate, October 2012
Combining fruit from several sweet spots on their property (and reflecting two Dijon clones and a bit of Wadenswil), the Bethel Heights 2010 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve displays a delightfully juicy and flower-bedecked amalgam of red and black currant, elderberry and cherry, as well as a polished feel and saliva-inducing undertone of nut oils and salted, fatty roasting pan scrapings that send my salivary glands into palpitations. And there’s a real ping of energy in this wine’s dynamic and sustained finish. This ought to be worth following for a decade.2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Flat Block - 91
Bethel Heights’ 2010 Pinot Noir Flat Block – from Pommard Selection vines planted in 1979 – evinces sour cherry with fresh ginger as well as orange and lemon zest. Infectiously juicy and bright; polished in texture but pointed; it delivers a vibrant finish, its fruit capped with crushed stone and mouthwatering salinity.2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Southeast Block - 91
Bethel Heights’ 2010 Pinot Noir Southeast Block reflects a deeper soil than that of other blocks of Bethel Heights. A maritime mingling of salt and alkali along with black tea smokiness and bittersweet floral perfume inflect dried cranberry, dried cherry and red licorice in the multifaceted nose and interactively complex palate performance of a Pinot that should remain more than merely viable over the next 8-10 years.2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block - 91
The Bethel Heights 2010 Pinot Noir West Block from their estate – showcasing a 1977 Wadenswil planting – is alluringly scented with iris and violet as well as dark cherry and blackberry that then inform a silken-textured palate. The tart edge one expects from this vintage and sub-region – not to mention from the present collection – is here in spades, despite the extra textural allure; and a saliva-stimulating combination of salt and iodine brings this to a rousing conclusion that practically compels the next sip. As with the corresponding Justice bottling, I’d love to think that over the coming decade this would become yet more complex and perhaps take on just a bit more fat, but who can know?2010 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard - 91
From a vineyard just below their original estate, but farmed by them, the Bethel Heights 2010 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard boasts abundant ripe but tart-edged blackberry suffused with saliva-liberating salinity as well as black tea and bay laurel. With fine-grained tannins and a superb sense of sheer cling as well as vibrant “ping,” this is surely a quintessential, lean and energetic exemplar of its vintage and appellation that ought to perform well for the better part of a decade, during which it will hopefully pick up yet further complexity and perhaps a bit more
INTERNATIONAL WINE CELLAR, JOSH RAYNOLDS, JULY 2012
($32) Dark red. Dark berries, sassafras and anise on the fragrant nose. Plush, expansive black raspberry and cherry flavors pick up spiciness with air and show very good energy. The sweet, enetrating finish clings with spicy intensity.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Southeast Block Eola-Amity Hills - 91
($50) Bright ruby-red. Cherry and redcurrant on the fragrant, spice-accented nose and in the mouth. Lively and precise, displaying very good depth and sneaky power. Aeration brings out an exotic floral nuance that carries through the long, sappy, gently tannic finish.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block Eola Amity Hills - 91
($50) Vivid ruby-red. Sexy, highly perfumed bouquet of dark berries and cherry- cola, with smoke and floral nuances building with air. Plush and broad, offering powerful dark fruit flavors that show both heft and vivacity. Closes on a spicy note, with very good clarity and gently gripping tannins.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Flat Block Eola-Amity Hills - 92
($58) Vivid ruby. High-pitched aromas of black raspberry, Asian spices and rose, with a touch of blood orange emerging with air. Bright and nervy on entry, then deeper in the mid-palate, offering intense dark berry flavors lifted by zesty acidity. Finishes on a sweet floral pastille note, with impressive clarity and cut.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills - 92
($50) Bright ruby-red. Complex, highly perfumed aromas of red and dark berry preserves, incense and potpourri, complemented by a smoky overtone. Sappy black raspberry and cherry flavors show very good depth and pick up spice and floral nuances. Shows impressive energy on the long, silky, subtly sweet finish.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard Eola-Amity Hills - 92
($50) Bright ruby-red. Complex, heady bouquet displays candied red fruits, potpourri and incense, plus a spicy topnote. Fresh raspberry and mulberry flavors show impressive depth and vivacity, with a tangy spine of acidity adding bite. Finishes sweet and long, with resonating spiciness and lingering florality.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve Eola Amity Hills - 92
($60) Ruby-red. Spicy, fragrant aromas of dark berries, cherry pit and anise, with a suave floral quality in the background. Sappy, chewy and sweet, offering deeply pitched dark fruit flavors firmed by juicy acidity. Dusty tannins add shape and grip to the long dark fruit-dominated finish.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Libertine Eola-Amity Hills - 93
($75) (half of the fruit is from the estate vineyards and the rest from the Zena Crown vineyard): Bright ruby. Sexy, oak-spiced aromas of raspberry, cherry and tea rose. Supple and broad on entry, then tighter in the middle, offering intense, impressively deep bitter cherry and red fruit liqueur flavors. Displays very good vivacity and clarity on the long, red fruit-dominated finish.
The Wine Spectator, February 2012
($25) Tangy and appealing for its tightly knit tangerine, pear and spice flavors, finishing with zip. Drink now through 2013.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve - 93
($60) Firm in texture up front, with a mineral cast to the dark berry, cherry, licorice and spice flavors, finishing with generosity as the finish soft-shoes smoothly offstage. Drink now through 2019. 450 cases made. –HS2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate Grown - 92
($32) Light in texture and weight, but shows real presence with its strawberry and cherry fruit, with cinnamon and talcum overtones. Finishes with refinement and grace. Drink now through 2019.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Flat Block - 93
($50) Polished, with a strong mineral note weaving through the rich blackberry and cherry fruit, melding smoothly as the finish extends. This has a distinctive profile, coming together with finesse. Drink now through 2019. 200 cases made. –HS2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard - 93
($50) Satiny, elegant and refined, this is expressive with its plum and currant fruit, hinting at floral and talc on the lively finish. The tannins are tight, but the lovely fruit comes through easily. Best from 2012 through 2019. 190 cases made. –HS2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block - 92
($50) Broad, juicy, and dripping with mineral notes that weave through the rich cherry and spice flavors, all coming together seamlessly on the refined finish. Has power and grace. Drink now through 2019.2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Libertine - 92
($75) Ripe, focused, steely and expressive, offering a juicy mouthful of cherry, licorice, wet earth and mineral flavors that zing through the finish. This has stature and charm. Drink now through 2019. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 100 cases made. –HS2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley - 90
($28) Polished, light and immensely appealing for its pretty raspberry, cream and floral aromas and flavors, lingering easily on the sleek finish. Drink now through 2015.