Bethel Heights Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Ben Casteel

Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 07:30 PM

This Event has been read: 745 times.

Share on Facebook

http://stash1.johnvey.com/images/features/sideways-miles.jpg

"It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and thrive even when it's neglected. No, pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And, in fact, it can only grow in these really specific, little tucked-away corners of the world. And only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression."

Miles - Sideways

 

 

I remember my first trip to Oregon in the summer of 1994 for the IPNC (International Pinot Noir Celebration) this is one of the best wine parties that I have ever attended. The festival is limited to 500 attendees as it is hosted by McMinnville College and that is all they can accommodate in their lecture facilities. I remember not only were the quality of the wines at the highest level but the people in attendance were some of the most passionate Pinot Noir lovers that I had ever come across. And although winemaking began in the 19th century in this state it is only recently that its potential has been recognized by the rest of the world.

It was in 1979 when serious wine producers started to look at the potential of this area as Eyrie Vineyards' 1975 South Block Pinot Noir placed in the top 10 of Burgundy-style wines at the Gault-Millau French Wine Olympiades, and was rated the top Pinot Noir. This send the news around the wine world and shortly after Robert Drouhin, head of Burgundy's legendary Maison Joseph Drouhin, was visiting America's west coast promoting the Drouhin Burgundies. The California wine industry was just starting to receive its first recognition back then, but there was little if anything going on in Oregon. Robert's first visit to the Northwest and its earliest vineyards left him with the impression that it quite possibly would be Oregon, not California, that would ultimately prove to be the best place to grow the great grape of Burgundy - Pinot noir.

Inspired by his trip to Oregon and the results of 1979 tasting that was held in Paris, where, for the first time, the best new Oregon Pinot noirs were tasted in competition with the finest Burgundies. Robert decided to hold his own blind tasting in 1980 at the Drouhin cellars in France, with several of the best Oregon Pinot noirs going up against the finest Drouhin Grand Crus. It was a Drouhin Grand Cru that took first place this time, but an Oregon wine (the now legendary 1975 Eyrie Vineyards South Block) placed 2nd by a very narrow margin with the French experts. News of this tasting brought the first widespread international attention to Oregon Pinot noir.

After a few years time Robert's daughter Véronique just graduated with an advanced degree in enology from the University of Dijon, and wanted to expand her experience by working in Oregon. Véronique interned with Adelsheim Vineyards, Bethel Heights, and Eyrie for the 1986 vintage. Later on, Robert mentioned to David Adelsheim that it might be interesting to buy a piece of land in Oregon, to see what it might produce. What started as a passing thought began its transformation into reality when Adelsheim phoned the Drouhins in Beaune not long thereafter to tell them of a property that was for sale that they might be interested in. The rest is history and with one of Burgundies foremost wine producing families moving to Oregon the writing was on the wall that this wine producing region would soon get its much deserved recognition as one of the world's premier Pinot Noir growing regions.

Today, the state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.

American Viticultural Areas entirely within the state include the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue Valley AVAs. Parts of the Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla Valley, and Snake River Valley AVAs lie within Oregon. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are the top two grapes grown, with over 16,000 tons (14,515 metric tons) harvested in 2005. As of 2005, Oregon wine makers produced over 1.5 million cases combined.

Currently there are over 700 wineries in Oregon and a bustling tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland.

http://essentialnorthwestwines.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Oregon.jpg

You don’t have to travel to Oregon to taste some of the top wines being made here as we have one of the top winemakers from Oregon in town on Thursday, February 6th.  Join us as we welcome Ben Casteel from Bethel Heights winery for a tasting of new releases from Bethel Heights winery.  Chef Toni Lampasone will be making a special menu to accompany the tasting wines, the fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.

See the source image

Bethel Heights Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Ben Casteel
Thursday, February 6, 2020
7:30 PM

Image result for 2015 Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate Eola Amity

2015 Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate Eola Amity
Price: $30.00          Sale $26.40

The 2015 Estate Chardonnay has all of the characteristics we look for from truly great, warm Oregon vintages: energy, tension between the acidity and fruit, a suppleness and body in the mid palate, and a long harmonious finish. This wine should age gracefully over the next seven to ten years.

See the source image

2015 Bethel Heights Chardonnay “Casteel” Willamette Valley
Price: $78.00          Sale $68.64

Our 2015 Casteel Chardonnay opens with aromas of preserved lemon, brioche, white pepper and ocean air. The palate is both graceful and energetic, displaying the tension of a wine that will age gracefully over the next 8 to 10 years.

Image result for Bethel Heights Chardonnay “Justice Vineyard” 2015

Bethel Heights Chardonnay “Justice Vineyard” 2015
Price: $67.50          Sale $59.40

The Chardonnay from Justice Vineyard over the years has developed a haunting sea breeze, saline quality both in the aroma and on the palate that distinguishes it from every other Chardonnay in our portfolio.   The wine’s freshness, purity, and unique fingerprint are framed by bright acidity and a crystalline structure, perhaps providing a window into the marine sedimentary soils where it’s planted, soils that were once layers of sand on the floor of the ocean millions of years ago

Image result for Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate 2017

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate 2017
List Price: $33.75  Your Price: $29.70

The 2017 vintage shows a delicacy and elegance we haven’t encountered in a few years, and our 2017 Estate Pinot Noir is no exception. Aromas of damp earth, warm spice, red cane berries and faint oak spice carry over to the palate, with balancing acidity and fine grain tannins showing potential for aging over the next 8-12 years.

See the source image

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir “Aeolian” 2017
Price: $45.00          Sale $39.60

“I feel that the 2017 wines have the best natural balance we have seen out of a warm vintage since 2012. In spite of the heat the wines have terrific acidity, relatively low alcohol, and the different parts of our Estate show their personalities without being muddled by vintage.”  Ben Casteel

See the source image

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir “Casteel” 2017
Price: $78.00           Sale $68.64

Aromas of black cherry, pine resin, and black currants dominate, with hints of cooking chocolate and cinnamon in the background. Flavors of black berries and dark chocolate play over the sinewy, taut structure of this wine with its mineral laden acidity and fine-grained tannins.

Menu
Cheese and charcuterie Selections
Scallop carpaccio with Honey vanilla Aioli, tangerine zest and Harpke Farms Edible Mico Flowers
Duck Confit Tacos with raspberry Coulis and Mint chiffonade
Crispy Pork Belly with Cherry Gellie and Hominy Black Beak with Tahini Ponzu Mayo
Epoisses and cranberry Sauce on top of Puff pastry Dusted with cinnamon laced powdered sugar

The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $125 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.  Please let us know when you make your reservation if you have any food allergies and Toni will be happy to accommodate you.

A bit about Bethel Heights Winery:
See the source image
United by their interest in wine, in 1977 Ted Casteel, Pat Dudley, Terry Casteel, and Marilyn Webb abandoned the academic life and, together with Pat’s sister Barbara Dudley, bought 75 promising-looking acres northwest of Salem, with 14 acres of newly planted cuttings in the ground.   They moved to the vineyard in 1978 (except Barbara, who was in California working as a lawyer for farmworkers with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board) and started a new life.  In 1979 they cleared and planted 36 more acres.  In 1981 they harvested their first crop and started home winemaking in Terry’s basement.  In 1984 Bethel Heights produced their first commercial vintage of 3000 cases: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc and Gewurztraminer, all Estate Grown.

For the first thirty years Ted was responsible for managing the vineyards and Terry made the wine.  Pat and Marilyn shared responsibilities for marketing and business management. Over thirty years they grew their wine production to 10,000 cases, and made common cause with our fellow pioneers to establish the Willamette Valley as the home of New World Pinot Noir.

Meanwhile, five cousins grew up knowing the tidy rows and wild hidden places of Bethel Heights as their backyard playground, science lab and adventure park. Now they have taken their places as co-owners, co-workers, and stewards of this place.

In 2005 Ben Casteel (son of Terry and Marilyn) took over from his father as Winemaker at Bethel Heights.  In 2007 Jon Casteel (second son of Terry and Marilyn) launched Casteel Custom Bottling, a mobile bottling company that serves wineries throughout Oregon, including Bethel Heights of course.  Mimi Casteel (daughter of Ted and Pat) worked with the family at Bethel Heights until 2017 when she started farming her own vineyard at Hope Well and launched her Hope Well Wine project. Jessie Casteel grew up among the vines at Bethel Heights, but now lives in Chicago. Jessie brings a creative outlier perspective to the direction of the family business and serves as our ambassador in Chicago and points east.

So where did the name Bethel Heights came from?  They found the answer in a small booklet written in 1941 by John E. Smith called Bethel, Polk County, Oregon. According to Smith, “One of the earliest settlers in this vicinity was Rev. Glen O. Burnett who came to Oregon in 1846 and built his house half a mile or so north of the present location of Bethel School.  To the heights eastward, he gave the name ‘Bethel Hills’, Bethel being the name of the church in Missouri that he had recently served as pastor.”

The property now known as Bethel Heights Vineyard was originally platted in 1909 and recorded under the name Bethel Heights Walnut Groves.  A number of the original walnut trees and their children still flourish around the edges of the vineyard.

Since 1984, both the Estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay have been the most transparent statement of Bethel Heights terroir that they produce, the sum of all its parts.  Old vine storytelling delivered with tension and energy – these wines are the foundation of this producer and a statement to the terroir of their vineyards.

The rest of the Bethel Heights in the store:

Bethel Heights Pinot Blanc Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2017
Price: $26.25       Sale $23.10
Departing slightly from past tradition in the vinification of our Estate Pinot Blanc, we aged this wine for 10 months in a large 30 hectoliter (792 gallons) oak oval, following a cool fermentation in stainless steel, maintaining the freshness and vibrancy of the vintage while also adding depth and breadth due to the extended lees contact without malolactic fermentation.

Bethel Heights Pinot Gris Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2017
Price: $26.25       Sale $23.10

Our Estate Pinot Gris from 23-year- old vines, planted in the coolest section of our vineyard, holds on to its bright vivacity even in the warmest vintages. This is a rich, textured wine – dry, but with ample fruit – a perfectly balanced tension.

Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2013 (375ml)
Price: $20.25       Sale $17.82

The 2013 Estate Chardonnay has all of the characteristics one looks for from truly great vintages: energy, tension between the acidity and fruit, and a long harmonious finish. This wine should age gracefully over the next five to seven years.

Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014 (1.5L)
Price: $87.00       Sale $76.56
Bethel Heights Chardonnay Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014 375ml
Price: $20.25       Sale $17.82

The 2014 Estate Chardonnay has all of the characteristics Bethel Heights looks for from truly great, warm Oregon vintages: energy, tension between the acidity and fruit, a suppleness and body in the mid-palate, and a long harmonious finish. This wine should age gracefully over the next seven to ten years.

Bethel Heights Chardonnay Casteel Reserve Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014
Price: $84.00       Sale $73.29
Bethel Heights Chardonnay Casteel Reserve Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014 1.5L
Price: $180.00    Sale $158.40

(92 Points) The 2014 Chardonnay Casteel Reserve had just been bottled. It has a perfumed nose of white flowers and melted candle wax, very well defined with lime and frangipane aromas developing. The palate is well balanced with a crisp, citrus lemon and lime-driven opening. This feels spicier than the Justice Vineyard Chardonnay, gaining depth towards the finish that has a bit of fire in its belly. This is a very well-crafted Chardonnay that should age with style. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir AEOLIAN Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2015 1.5L
Price: $112.00    Sale $98.56

Aromas of black cherry, black currant, plum and sandalwood over saline hints of preserved lemon and sea foam. On the palate, flavors of black cherry and blueberry with hints of black pepper and oak spice. These flavors meld over a dense core of nervy acidity and fine-grained tannins, giving the wine both tension and vivacity. This wine has the concentration to age gracefully over the next 10 years.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2016 1.5L
Price: $90.00       Sale $79.20
Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2016 375ml
Price: $19.50       Sale $17.16

This wine blends fruit from all the different sections of the estate vineyard. It truly encompasses the entire breadth of expression at Bethel Heights from the youthful exuberance of the winery's youngest vines planted in 2002 to the brooding, earthy complexity of its old own-rooted vines that have been knitting themselves into the landscape for forty years.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Estate Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2017 1.5L
Price: $89.00       Sale $78.32

The 2017 vintage shows a delicacy and elegance we haven’t encountered in a few years, and our 2017 Estate Pinot Noir is no exception. Aromas of damp earth, warm spice, red cane berries and faint oak spice carry over to the palate, with balancing acidity and fine grain tannins showing potential for aging over the next 8-12 years.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Aeolian Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2017 1.5L
Price: 112.00       Sale $98.56

The goal of the Aeolian is always refinement. While certain parts of the estate lend themselves to more boisterous or rustic examples of Pinot noir depending on the vintage, for the Aeolian in each vintage we are trying to find the blend that best expresses our ideal of Bethel Heights purity, elegance, grace and balance.

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir Casteel Reserve Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2014 1.5L
Price: $180.00    Sale $158.40

(94 Points)  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… one of the finest I tasted throughout my time in Oregon.  THE WINE ADVOCATE – Neal Martin

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir "Flat Block" Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2015 1.5L
Price: $157.50    Sale $138.60

(94+ Points)  “The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate Flat Block has a restrained, earthy nose of mossy bark, fungi and damp soil over a core of cranberries and red currants plus a hint of wild thyme. Mediumbodied, it delivers a fine, refreshing structure of tightly-grained tannins and light acid, framing intense, earthy flavors that finish long and layered.” THE WINE ADVOCATE

Bethel Heights Pinot Noir "West Block" Eola-Amity Hills Willamette Valley 2015 1.5L
Price: $157.50    Sale $138.60

(93 Points) “The 2015 Pinot Noir West Block delivers notes of red roses, tilled soil, dried leaves and black truffles over a core of red currants and black cherries. Medium-bodied with lovely, finelygrained tannins to texture the generous red berry and earth layers, it has plenty of freshness and great persistence.  WINE              ADVOCATE

 

Cart Summary

Your shopping cart is empty!

Wine Watch Events

Bond Napa Valley Cult Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Tasting

Fri, Sep 18, 2020

    "By making this wine vine known to the public, I have rendered my country as great a service...

California Cult Rhone Wine Tasting with Special Guest Dr. Robert Maliner

Sat, Sep 19, 2020

“Wine is like people. The wine takes all the influences in life all around it, it absorbs them and it gets i...

VIrtual Tasting Featuring Justin Vineyards wtih Special Guest Founder Justin Balwin and Joseph Spellman MS

Wed, Sep 23, 2020

  "A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry." Ecclesiastes 10:19   ...

Vintage Bordeaux Wine Tasting

Thu, Sep 24, 2020

“I love everything that is old; old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines. “ - Olive...

Marcassin California Cult Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Tasting

Fri, Sep 25, 2020

“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or fut...

Red Burgundy VS Oregon Pinot Noir

Sat, Sep 26, 2020

"It's a hard grape to grow. As you know. Right? It's, uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripen...

Virtual Wine Tasting featuring St. Supery winery with CEO Emma Swain & winemaker Brooke Shenk

Wed, Sep 30, 2020

  Mankind . . . possesses two supreme blessings. First of these is the goddess Demeter, or  Earth whiche...

Giuseppe Rinaldi Barolo Vertical Tasting

Thu, Oct 1, 2020

“High and fine literature is wine, and mine is only water; but everybody likes water.”  ― ...

Ramey Wine Tasting with Vitrual Host David Ramey

Fri, Oct 2, 2020

Ramey Wine Tasting with Vitrual Host David Ramey   2017 Ramey Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016 Ra...

1959 VS 1969 Red Burgundy Wine Tasting

Sat, Oct 3, 2020

1959 A. Ligeret Morey Saint Denis 1959 A. Ligeret Santenay Gravieres  1959 Chanson Pere & Fils Savi...