Decanter August 15, 2023
2021 Chardonnay Casteel
“2021 Willamette Valley white wine of the vintage”
97 A gorgeous Chardonnay from estates vines planted in 1977 and 1994. This is a showy wine that retains its elegance while flirting with opulence. Lemon cream, nutmeg and petrichor announce the aromatics alongside a touch of ginger. The palate is impressive. Smoky flint leads into lanolin, almond cream, cardamom, baked apple and just a hint of cheese rind. This beautiful wine comes together wonderfully, showing just how impressive Willamette Valley Chardonnay can be.
2021 Pinot Noir Casteel
96 A wonderful wine. Balances an elegant determination to be serious and contemplative with a gregarious fresh fruit and minty spice that is undeniably enjoyable. Aromas of candied cherry, savoury spice, peat, soft violets and a touch of baking chocolate are at once inviting and reserved. The palate is an epiphany. Gorgeous red fruit character, raspberry and pomegranate are backed by savoury notes that mix pine tar, pine needles and soy-laced umami character. There is Christmas spice, and a fresh mint character carries the finish.
2021 Chardonnay Estate
94 For less than $40, you’ll struggle to find a better American Chardonnay. This wine shows classic Eola-Amity complexity, marrying spice, fruit and structure. Aromas of lemon verbena, nutmeg and sweet hay give way to a mineral streak of petrichor. The palate is lushly fruited. Ripe apricot and cardamom-spiced pear flavours trend towards a lemon cream finish accented by a mineral note of wet chalk. It has a lot to offer and, at this price point, shows such great depth and complexity from the Bethel Heights site.
2021 Pinot Noir Aeolian
93 Verve and expressiveness are the hallmarks of this estate Pinot Noir from the Eola Amity AVA—aromas of Luxardo cherries, violet-driven florals and crushed basalt minerality. Fleshy berry fruits, a streak of smoky minerality, savoury herbs and tobacco mark the palate. Generous and refined.
2021 Pinot Noir Estate
93 Refined and dark-fruited, this wine is a blend across the estate, an effort to capture the terroir and signature of Bethel Heights. Aromas of smoky flint, crushed rose petals, and clove announces a dark and somewhat brooding palate. Ripe Italian plums, blackberry and crushed basalt, announce a palate with ample structure and stony mineral-driven finish.