WINE ENTHUSIAST, FEBRUARY 2017
2014 Bethel Heights West Block Pinot Noir – 94 “Cellar Selection”
The top drop from Bethel Heights in this vintage, this is a dark, dense evocation of Pinot Noir at its most authoritative and engaging. It’s a muscular mix of mulberry, blueberry and blue plum, with a dash of sassafras for good measure. The length and sense of throttled power suggest that this is a fine cellar candidate. Drink now through 2028.
2014 Bethel Heights Southeast Block Pinot Noir – 93
The unique flavors of this special block match pretty red-berry fruit to aromatic suggestions of potpourri and bouquet garni. It’s detailed and nicely knitted together, with a pleasing hint of coconut carrying through the finish.
2014 Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay – 93
As befits a reserve-level wine, this is big, bold, rich and full-flavored. It amplifies the ripe apple and peach fruit, and slathers it in buttery caramel and sweet spice. Drink now through 2020.
2014 Bethel Heights Estate Chardonnay – 92
An outstanding value in a top-level Oregon Chardonnay, this beautifully rendered, barrel-fermented wine is a showcase of sharply defined flavors. The tree fruits are highlighted with details of spice and new wood, clearly delineated and well-matched.
2014 Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir – 91
Lush and forward, this lovely wine is bursting with red and black-cherry fruit. It socks you (gently) in the nose and seduces you in the mouth, with streaks of cola and a dash of pepper. No need to wait on this wine, as it is already drinking like a dream.
2014 Bethel Heights Flat Block Pinot Noir – 92
This limited block selection comes from own-rooted vines planted in 1979. Full-fruited flavors combine into a fresh and lush mix of berries and cherries with a citrusy kick. There’s a tropical punch sensibility combined with the texture and depth of a very fine Pinot. The tannins are polished and in perfect proportion.
2014 Bethel Heights Justice Vineyard Pinot Noir – 92
Firm black cherry fruit opens with a slightly liquorous, Bourbon barrel accent. This young wine is still knitting together, but with ample breathing time it smoothes out, delivering a robust mix of ripe fruit, highlights of sassafras, and a hint of charcoal. Drink now or tuck it away another few years.
2013 Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir – 92
A barrel by barrel selection results in this reserve-level cuvée. Round, forward, spicy and toasty, it’s a solid, almost chunky style with bold black-cherry fruit. Barrel aging brings up highlights of coffee and toast. Think duck confit with this bottle, and enjoy it over the next few years.
2013 Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay – 92
A reserve-level, barrel-fermented cuvée, this has a fresh and creamy mouthfeel. It blends crisp tree fruits with bracing minerality, and finishes lightly with a pat of butter.
2013 Bethel Heights Estate Chardonnay – 90
Firm and polished, this barrel-fermented wine is just rounded off enough, without damping the bright, almost crunchy fruit. There’s a light touch of toast and the structure for further bottle age to improve it. Drink 2017–2025.