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Bethel Heights Casteel Reserve Pinot noir 2014
94 points The Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve is more of a location-orientated cuvée since 2008, coming from two parcels within the Bethel Heights vineyard. It has a crisp and very focused bouquet with dark plum, cranberry leaf and cold stone aromas that show impressive transparency. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannin, very harmonious and cohesive with a supple texture, very pure with great tension and precision towards the finish. What a fabulous Pinot Noir - world class."
2012 vintage notes:
Nothing short of incredible. I'm asked all the time if certain wines are "really that good." Yes, this is really that good. It's better, in fact. One of my top Pinots of the 2012 vintage, f-ing wow! Sexy and supple, amazingly deep and rich yet stunningly elegant. So superbly integrated and balanced. - Marcus
Only 230 cases made, the 2012 is a blend of Dijon clone blocks from Bethel Heights' Estate Vineyard, planted in 1994 and 1996.
Previous vintage notes:
2010 Wine Spectator - 94 points - Smooth, round and expressive, light-footed but bursting with currant, blackberry and floral flavors, hinting at mint and wet stone as the finish lingers effortlessly against fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2020. 270 cases produced. - H.S.
The 2010 Casteel Reserve is a blend of select barrels from several blocks of Estate vineyards, selected to represent the best expression of the vintage. The blend is different from vintage to vintage. 50% of the blend is clone 114, planted in 1996. 20% comes from a block of clone 667 at Justice vineyard planted in 1999. 30% comes from the Estate’s oldest vines, Wadenswil clone planted in 1977. Aged 11 months in (60% new) French oak. 270 cases produced. - the winery
2009 Wine Spectator - 93 points - Firm in texture up front, with a mineral cast to the dark berry, cherry, licorice and spice flavors, finishing with generosity as the finish soft-shoes smoothly offstage. Drink now through 2019. 450 cases made. - H.S.
2008 Vintage Tasting Notes
2008 Tanzer - 93 points - Bright, ruby-red. Complex, spice-accented bouquet displays raspberry preserves, cherry-cola, potpourri and smoky minerals. Energetic and precise on the palate, offering juicy red and dark berry flavors that show impressive depth and energy. Gains weight with air, picking up a mocha note and finishing with impressive power and focus. I'd stash this away for at least five more years.
2008 Wine Advocate - 92 points - The 2008 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve is a blend of the winery’s best barrels. The process of selection must have been quite a task given the raw materials. The expressive bouquet of sandalwood, Asian spices, underbrush, rose petal, incense and assorted black fruits leaps from the glass. On the palate it displays dense, succulent fruit, outstanding volume, precision and balance. Give it 5-6 years in the cellar. Drink 2015-2028.”
2006 Vintage Tasting Notes
Bethel Heights "Casteel" Pinot noir 06 is Bethel Heights' blockbuster wine. Raspberry, black cherry, currant and pie spice waft from the glass. This is a wine of great depth, with a silky mouthfeel and an expansive finish. It's hard to believe there's 50% new oak-it's so well integrated. - Marcus
2006 Wine Advocate - 93 points - The 2006 Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve is medium ruby-colored with an alluring perfume of wood smoke, damp earth, black cherry, and black raspberry. This is followed by a wine with excellent focus, density, and intense, savory dark fruits, It is well balanced, nicely structured, and has a long, fruit-filled close. Give it 2-3 years of additional bottle age and drink it from 2010 to 2018."
The aromatic profile is dominated by currant, black cherry, and oak spice. The palate is concentrated, featuring dense black and red fruits fruit and a subtle earthiness, framed by vibrant acids that not only provide the wine with length, but also provide the necessary structure for aging. Fine grain tannins round out this wine.
2005 Vintage Tasting Notes
"When we set out to select our best barrels and blend of our 2005 Casteel Reserve, we did not pre-determine what components would be included, but as in each previous vintage, the 2005 vintage includes "Flat Block" (planted 1979), "West Block" (planted 1977), "Seven Springs" vineyard (located 5 miles North of Bethel Heights, established in 1982), and "Clone 114" (planted 1996). The 2005 Casteel Reserve has all the elegance & complexity of its predecessors." - the winemaker
- 32% Bethel Hts "Flat Block", 36% "Seven Springs", 16% Bethel Hts "Wadenswil Block", 16% Bethel Hts "Clone 114" Aged for 14 months (50% new) in French oak. - the winery
2005 Wine Spectator - 93 points - Lithe, open and immensely appealing for its supple plum, blueberry and dusky spice aromas and flavors, lingering beautifully on the harmonious finish. Drink now through 2014. - H.S.
2005 Tanzer - 92 points - Smoky, musty blackberry aroma is lifted by spicy and floral nuances. Sweet and silky on the palate, conveying an explosive impression of ripe blackberry and cassis. One of the most powerfully fruit-driven wines I tasted from Oregon this year. The juicy, long finish features a concentrated blackcurrant flavor and a complicating smoky quality. Really sexy pinot."