For more than three decades Bethel Heights has produced some of Willamette Valley’s most successful estate grown Pinot Noirs, in good years and bad. However, in 2008 Bethel Heights has fashioned a truly exceptional Estate Grown Pinot Noir that looks to be the finest this domain has produced to date. Consummate winemaking skills and the myriad attributes of the magical 2008 vintage have imbued the 2008 Bethel Heights Estate Grown Pinot Noir with charm and hedonistic pleasure as well as great age ability. This youthful, full-bodied Pinot Noir already offers up a fragrant bouquet of cinnamon, clove, ripe black fruits, and the intoxicating scents of roses and spices. On the palate, this packed, complex Pinot Noir displays a tremendous depth of flavor along with supreme texture. Yet, as rewarding as this wine is now, it will most certainly be better several years from now. For those not given to laying wines down, we strongly suggest decanting this special Pinot Noir before serving and then allowing it to breathe for an hour or more. This will permit the wine’s gorgeous fruit to come to fore and hopefully reveal layers of subtle complexity, too. In an ideal world, one has a bottle of this delicious Pinot Noir at table and a case resting in the cellar. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018. For optimal enjoyment we suggest serving this wine at cool room temperature (60º-65º F).
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 2008 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. And given the ideal vintage conditions in 2008 throughout Willamette Valley, this estate grown Pinot Noir can hold court with even fuller, richer fare such as duck, quail, pork, and venison. And while most red wines become steely in the presence of seafood, Oregon Pinot Noirs, such as the Bethel Heights’ Estate Grown Pinot, remain happy exceptions: Savory seafood specialties featuring halibut, salmon, and tuna with rich sauces offer superb accompaniment to Bethel Heights’ Estate Pinot Noir. Most other 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. So, come and taste all that Bethel Heights has to offer!
Oregon’s Willamette Valley was the destination and the dream of thousands of 19th century pioneers as they migrated west across the Great American Desert to “the promised land,” a green oasis where crops and orchards bore fruit aplenty. Today, the Willamette Valley retains its original allure. It is the center of the Oregon wine and fruit industries and it has become a haven for many environmental and high tech industries.
Today, the Willamette Valley is home to more than two thirds of the wineries and vineyards in Oregon. At last count there were more than two hundred wineries in this broad and varied valley that follows the Willamette River from north to south for a hundred miles from the Columbia River to just south of Eugene. The Willamette Valley is one of the premier places on earth for the cultivation of Pinot Noir, one of the finest, yet most difficult grape varieties to grow. So favorable is this land for Pinot Noir that Willamette Valley is mentioned in the same breath as Burgundy and a few select cool weather locations in California as one of the few places on earth for growing the often magical, yet mercurial Pinot Noir grape. Willamette Valley, also, provides ideal terroir for Pinot Gris and other premium white varietals.
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