A dazzling dozen: The best of the 2012 Pinot Noirs, by Jon Bonné

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.

Is Oregon Pinot trying to copy California? A dilemma in a glass. (sub req)

“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)