Bethel Heights Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2008
Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
Initial aromas of chocolate, plum, and raspberry over clove, wet earth and barrel spice. Lush raspberry and blackberry flavors emerge on the palate, balanced by crisp acidity and age-worthy, fine-grained tannins. As with most classic cool vintages in Oregon, this wine is approachable in its youth, but will reward those patient enough to give it some time to age in the bottle.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Pinot Noir Willamette Valley has a lovely bouquet, particularly for an entry-level wine. Aromas of cedar, spice box, rose petal, and an amalgam of red and black fruits leads to a medium-bodied, ripe, moderately structured wine with 1-2 years of aging potential. With ample spicy fruit, good volume, and a fruit-filled finish, it will provide considerable pleasure over the next 6-8 years. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby. Pungent, sexy scents of dried red fruits, star anise, allspice and rose. Lively and precise on entry, then gains flesh and breadth in the mid-palate, offering sweet raspberry and cherry compote flavors and showing no rough edges. The finish is juicy, seductively sweet and very long. A very impressive "basic" bottling that bodes well for the later-release single-site and reserve bottlings from this vintage."
Bethel Heights Vineyard Winery
Planted between 1977 and 1979, Bethel Heights was one of the first vineyards in the Eola Hills, a chain of hills in the center of Oregon's Willamette Valley. The estate winery was established in 1984 and currently produces 10,000 cases of wine annually, most of which still comes from the 50 acre estate vineyard. Bethel Heights specializes in Pinot Noir, but also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. View all Bethel Heights Vineyard Wines
About Willamette ValleyView a map of Willamette Valley wineries (will-AAM-it)
Named for the river that runs through the valley from Portland to Eugene, Willamette Valley is home to some of the best Pinot Noir vineyards in the Northwest. While along the same north/south line as Seattle, the Willamette Valley is protected from Pacific rains by the Coast Range on the western border and the Cascade Ranges to the east. Though sunshine is typically plentiful, rainfall can occasionally be tricky, and the wines here vary vintage to vintage. Within the Willamette Valley are are number of sub-regions, including McMinnville, Dundee and Yamhill.
Notable FactsThe valley is known for its Pinots – Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. With a climate similar to Burgundy – in rainfall, sunlight hours and other climate factors – Pinot Noir has flourished here. Pinot Noir in Oregon produces wines that are fruit forward, yet complex, some with good agebility.
Other than Pinot Noir, many wineries grow Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Pinot Gris from Oregon is delightful in its texture and food friendliness. Chardonnay in the valley adapts well to the cool climate and produces lean, elegant wines.
About OregonOregon has long been an agricultural state, producing everything from hazelnuts to cattle. The Willamette Valley in particular is a fertile basin for all sorts of produce. Not quite pegged as a wine state, in 1965, a UC Davis graduate named David Lett decided that the Willamette's climate mirrored that of Burgundy in France. With that in mind, he decided to plant some Pinot Noir clones to see how they did. And a good gamble it was. The Willamette is now one of the only regions in the world to focus solely on Pinot Noir as its red variety. Also known for Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. The southern part of Oregon has been slower in delving into the world wine market, but has been making excellent strides with their Rhone style varietals, like Syrah and Grenache. There are also coastal regions producing promising wines.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.