Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2013 Front LabelBethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2013 Front Bottle Shot

Bethel Heights Casteel Chardonnay 2013

  • W&S92
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WS90
750ML / 13% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS96
  • RP95
  • V94
  • WE93
  • WE93
  • RP92
  • W&S91
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Casteel Chardonnay has all of the characteristics Bathel Heights 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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
You can almost taste the breeze in this fresh, bright chardonnay. Its flavors lean generously toward pear, marked by a hint of lees, finishing with firmness and a racy mineral length. It should benefit from some cellar time; then serve with trout en papillote.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
A reserve-level, barrel-fermented cuvée, this has a fresh and creamy mouthfeel. It blends crisp tree fruits with bracing minerality, and finishes lightly with a pat of butter.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Chardonnay Casteel Reserve comes from Dijon selection 76 planted in 1994 and Dijon selection 95 planted in 1999. It is whole-cluster pressed, barrel fermented and underwent complete malo. It has a surprisingly taciturn bouquet with light tertiary scents, quite earthy, with dry straw scents. The palate is well balanced with well-judged acidity, a little more concentration than the Chardonnay Estate, with quite a rich, honeyed texture on the finish that does not get too carried away. Enjoy this over the next 4-6 years.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Fresh and refined, with a delicacy to the spicy, tobacco-accented pear and floral flavors, lingering quietly and persistently. Drink now through 2018.
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Bethel Heights

Bethel Heights

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Bethel Heights, Oregon
Bethel Heights Bethel Heights Vineyard Winery Image


United by our 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. We 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 we cleared and planted 36 more acres. In 1981 we harvested our first crop and started home winemaking in Terry’s basement. In 1984 we produced our 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 we grew our 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.

Now there is a new generation of cousins – ten so far – who all come home to Bethel Heights for family occasions, to eat the blackberries and taste the grapes and pat the goats and walk through the ravine to Mr. Hatcher’s haunted house. This place is now for them too.

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Eola-Amity Hills Wine

Willamette Valley, Oregon

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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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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

RVLRIBH13CC_2013 Item# 156300

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