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Bethel Heights Casteel Pinot Noir 2016

  • WE94
  • RP94
  • WS91
750ML / 13.9% ABV
Other Vintages
  • JS94
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • WE94
  • JS93
  • WS90
  • WE92
  • WS90
  • W&S94
  • WS92
  • WE90
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750ML / 13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

In a vintage that threatened to be over-wrought and soft, we were very pleased that our estate maintained the energy and focus we have come to expect, to support and carry the fruit long into the future.

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.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
A reserve-level barrel selection, this is a deep dive into black cherry, blackberry preserves and subtle layering of herbs, coffee grounds and dark chocolate. Absolutely luscious, it complements its ripe, forward fruit with a long, lovely, detailed finish.
Editors' Choice
RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the nose of the 2016 Pinot Noir Casteel bursts from the glass with violet and lilac aromas over blueberry pie, cardamom, potpourri, bitter peel, tree bark and tilled loamy earth. Medium-bodied, the palate is packed full of blackberry and bramble berry preserves notes, with a wonderful frame of fine-grained tannins and loads of freshness, finishing very, very long with layer after layer of earth and savory notions.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Refined, yet vibrant and expressive, with flavors of raspberry and blueberry, accented by sassafras, spiced cinnamon and orange zest notes. Drink now through 2024.
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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.

XXICASTEELPN2016_2016 Item# 521403