THE WINE ADVOCATE, OCTOBER 2011
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Willamette Valley – 88
($28) Bethel Heights’ 2009 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley is medium ruby red in color with a nose of dried herbs, spice box, and black cherry. Sweetly-fruited, supple-textured, and nicely proportioned, this medium-long effort is meant for drinking over the next 6-7 years.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard – 92
($50) The 2009 Pinot Noir Carter Vineyard is first class. Expressive spice notes, incense, rose petal, cherry, and cranberry aromas inform the nose of a layered, succulent, nicely proportioned Pinot that contains enough structure to evolve for another 1-2 years. It will deliver prime drinking from 2012 to 2021.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve – 91
($60) The 2009 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve displays a touch of herbs as well as a darker shade of fruit. Black cherry, black raspberry, and plum notes lead to a savory, plump, chunky effort that narrows slightly in the finish. It will be at its best from 2012 to 2019.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Flat Block – 91
($50) The 2009 Pinot Noir Flat Block reveals a delicate perfume of floral notes, red fruits, and spice box. This sets the stage for an elegant offering which surprises with its depth, concentration, and length. Drink this suave Pinot over the next 6-8 years.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Estate Grown – 89
($32) The 2009 Pinot Noir Estate displays a bit of heat along with notes of cinnamon, clove, cedar, black cherry, and black raspberry. In the glass it reveals denser fruit than the Willamette Valley cuvee, savory flavors, good balance, and a medium-long finish. It will deliver enjoyment through 2019.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard – 91
($50) The 2009 Pinot Noir Justice Vineyard sports an enticing perfume of Asian spices, incense, rose petal, and red fruits. It conceals a bit of underlying structure that will allow it to evolve for 1-2 years and drink well through 2019+.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Libertine – 92
($75) The debut 2009 Pinot Noir Libertine is a 50-50 blend of estate fruit and nearby Zena Crown Vineyard. Exotic spices, red fruits, floral notes, and sandalwood inform the nose of a sweetly-fruited, layered, nicely proportioned wine that deftly combines power and elegance. Give it 1-2 years of additional bottle age and drink it through 2021.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir Southeast Block – 90
($50) The 2009 Pinot Noir Southeast Block exhibits a similar personality to the Flat Block cuvee but with more structure and not quite as much length. It is likely to evolve for 1-2 years which could well add to the wine’s finish.
2009 Bethel Heights Vineyard Pinot Noir West Block – 89+
($50) The 2009 Pinot Noir West Block gives up a hint of earthy minerality along with red fruit and spice notes. It is narrower than its siblings on the palate but with ample ripe fruit and good concentration; another year or two of cellaring could help to flesh it out.