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In 2007 Bethel Heights produced one of Willamette Valley’s most successful estate grown Pinot Noirs. On a recent trip to Oregon, we tasted the 2007 Bethel Heights Estate Grown Pinot Noir and immediately fell in love. Subsequent tastings after additional time in bottle have confirmed our initial jubilation and revealed even greater charm and hedonistic pleasure. The tender, medium-bodied 2007 Estate Grown Pinot Noir offers up a fragrant bouquet of cinnamon, clove, ripe red fruits, and roses. On the palate, this supple Pinot Noir comes across initially as lively, fresh, and spicy. However, a little aeration reveals a good depth of tender strawberry fruit, layers of subtle complexity, and enough structure to evolve for at least several more years. Already gracious and pretty, it will be difficult to practice constraint when it comes to Bethel Heights’ 2007 Estate Grown Pinot Noir. Nonetheless, for those who are patient enough to wait another year or two, a just reward will almost certainly be forthcoming. In an ideal world, one has a bottle of this delicious Pinot Noir at table and several more resting in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2016. For optimal enjoyment we suggest serving this wine at cool room temperature (60º-65º). Enjoy!
Oregon Pinot Noir is one of the most versatile and food friendly of American wines. It accompanies tried and true French classics, such as Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon, with aplomb. Yet, the 2007 Bethel Heights Estate Grown Pinot Noir pairs equally well with traditional American favorites such as roast turkey, with all the trimmings; Chicken Carolina, chicken stuffed with farm cured ham and Crotin cheese; and Maryland Style Crab Cakes. While most red wines become steely in the presence of seafood, fine Oregon Pinot Noirs, such as the Bethel Heights’ Estate Grown Pinot, remain happy exceptions. Savory seafood specialties featuring halibut, salmon, and tuna offer superb accompaniment to Bethel Heights’ Estate Pinot Noir as well. Most meats, pastas, and salads provide excellent complements, too.
One glance out the back door of the Bethel Heights Winery and it is easy to see why twin brothers Terry and Ted Casteel and their spouses Marilyn Webb and Pat Dudley fell madly in love with the Eola Hills and the breathtaking scenery that unfolds before them. From a series of vine covered hills that spill from the winery door to the soaring majesty of snow covered peaks that frame the luminous horizon, all that is fertile and awe inspiring about Oregon can be found at Bethel Heights.
Founded in 1977, Bethel Heights is one of the oldest wineries in Oregon and in our estimation still one of the best. The estate’s Pinot Noirs are among the finest in the state and co-owner Marilyn Webb knows how to make visitors feel at home. Her soft spoken manner and straightforward approach leaves one with the impression that the folks at Bethel Heights truly love what they do, and they do it well. Moreover, the second generation at Bethel Heights (Terry, Marilyn, Ted, and Pat’s kids) has come of age and by all accounts the wines at Bethel Heights are better than ever. In short, there is something for everyone here, whether it be red, white, rosé, or some of the grandest scenery in all Willamette Valley.
Although the current rage is for Pinot Noir from Oregon (and Bethel Heights produces a delicious estate grown Pinot Noir in the Eola Amity Hills along with several awe inspiring single vineyard Pinot selections), Terry and Ben Casteel also fashion an equally intriguing array of outstanding white wines. And for good health and added enjoyment the Bethel Heights estate vineyard has been certified sustainable by both LIVE and Salmon Safe since 1999. Taste and see all that this estate has to offer!
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