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Flat front label of wine

Bethel Heights Estate Pinot Noir (375ML half-bottle) 2008

Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
  • RP91
13% ABV
  • WS91
  • JS93
  • WS92
  • RP92
  • W&S92
  • WE91
  • WS90
  • WS92
  • RP90
  • W&S90
  • TP90
  • WS92
  • W&S92
  • RP88
  • WS89
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The aroma is defined by earth and forest floor, mushroom, moss, and damp earth. As the wine opens with air, these aromas give way to brambly raspberry and spice. The palate ranges from deep minerality and early bing cherries to orange zest and currant, but it is the taut core of acidity that drives this wine. We've rarely seen such concentration at these pH and alcohol levels at Bethel Heights, and it is a part of the reason Harvey Steiman calls 2008 a 'dream vintage.' This wine will reward those who seek immediate gratification, and also those seeking a well-rounded cellar.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Pinot Noir Estate Grown is a bit darker in color with an expansive, spicy bouquet, cherry, and black raspberry aromas leading to a wine with excellent concentration, layers of fruit, and enough ripe tannin to evolve for 2-3 years. This well-balanced, lengthy wine will be at its best from 2012 to 2020.
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Bethel Heights

Bethel Heights

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Bethel Heights, Willamette Valley, 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.

Willamette Valley

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One of Pinot Noir’s most successful New World outposts, the Willamette Valley is the largest and most important AVA in Oregon. With a Mediterranean climate moderated by a Pacific Ocean influence, it is perfect for cool-climate viticulture—warm and dry summers allow for steady, even ripening, and frost is rarely a risk during spring and winter.

Mountain ranges bordering three sides of the valley, particularly the Chehalem Mountains, provide the option for higher-elevation, cooler vineyard sites. The three prominent soil types here create significant differences in wine styles between vineyards and sub-AVAs. The iron-rich, basalt-based Jory volcanic soils found commonly in the Dundee Hills are rich in clay and hold water well; the chalky, sedimentary soils of Ribbon Ridge, Yamhill-Carlton and McMinnville encourage complex root systems as vines struggle to search for water and minerals. Silty, loess soils are found in the Chehalem Mountains.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

CVF101443_2008 Item# 114962