WINE ENTHUSIAST, October 2020
2017 Casteel Chardonnay – 94
This barrel-fermented reserve has a spicy mix of aromas, with hints of mint and menthol, along with cedar plank notes from the barrels. It needs aggressive decanting if you plan to drink it soon, so that those barrel flavors are fully integrated. But when put all together with the lush mix of stone fruits and balancing acids, this is a deep, dense, splendid example of top-tier Oregon Chardonnay. PAUL GREGUTT
2017 West Block Pinot Noir – 94
The West Block vines date back to 1977, yielding a stylish, tart, black-fruited Pinot with complementary layers of chocolate, mocha, cola and sandalwood. The long, smooth finish remains compact but should broaden out with further bottle age. The tannins, as with all of Bethel Heights Pinots, are beautifully ripened. PAUL GREGUTT
2017 Estate Chardonnay – 92
Crisp apple fruit is threaded with light suggestions of vanilla and butterscotch. The relatively low alcohol brings white-radish highlights into play, along with some citrusy herbs such as pineapple sage. It’s definitely on the light side, but with the acids and structure to nicely match white fish or simple poultry.