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Bethel Heights Aeolian Pinot Noir 2015

  • WE92
  • WS92
  • RP90
750ML / 13.6% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WS94
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WS95
  • W&S92
  • WE91
  • WW92
  • WS90
  • W&S90
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750ML / 13.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 92
Named for the windy corridor that gives the estate fruit its grip and concentration, this packs its black cherry and cassis flavors with compelling highlights. Pepper, cedar and sandalwood accents linger and penetrate the core of dark fruit.
WS 92
Well-knit and refined, with floral raspberry, crushed rock and spice flavors that build presence and richness on the finish. Drink now through 2023.
RP 90
A blend from a small section of the property, the 2015 Pinot Noir AEolian is scented of black raspberries, red currants and red roses with hints of dried Provence herbs, black pepper and sandalwood plus a hint of bark. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers mouth-filling red berry and earthy flavors with a frame of chewy tannins and lively acidity, finishing with herbal nuances.
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Bethel Heights

Bethel Heights

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Bethel Heights, Oregon
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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.

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Eola-Amity Hills

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Running north to south, adjacent to the Willamette River, the Eola-Amity Hills AVA has shallow and well-drained soils created from ancient lava flows (called Jory), marine sediments, rocks and alluvial deposits. These soils force vine roots to dig deep, producing small grapes with great concentration.

Like in the McMinnville sub-AVA, cold Pacific air streams in via the Van Duzer Corridor and assists the maintenance of higher acidity in its grapes. This great concentration, combined with marked acidity, give the Eola-Amity Hills wines—namely Pinot noir—their distinct character. While the region covers 40,000 acres, no more than 1,400 acres are covered in vine.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

XXI01039588912981_2015 Item# 434175