2015 Bethel Heights Estate Chardonnay 375ml

$20

2015 was a truly great, warm Oregon vintages. This wine has energy, tension between the acidity and fruit, a suppleness and body in the mid palate, and a long harmonious finish. This wine will age gracefully over the next 7-10 years. Aged on the lees with complete malolactic fermentation, and bottled after 10 months in French oak barrels.

LIVE Certified Sustainable

    Pairs with
    2015
  • WE 93
  • JS 91

In Stock At our temperature controlled facility in Costa Mesa, CA

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Chardonnay

As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis.

Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia.

When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.

Willamette Valley, Oregon

The Willamette Valley AVA lies to the west of the Cascade Mountains south of the city, Portland in Oregon. Stretching into Southern Oregon, this region has the largest concentration of wineries and vineyards. With cool breezes from the Pacific Ocean, dry, long sunny days, and cool nights, Willamette Valley is prime territory for growing Burgundian grapes: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With the first planting’s back in the 1960’s, this region has grown slowly, but significantly, producing top quality and world-renown wines from mostly small wineries. 

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. They 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 they cleared and planted 36 more acres and in 1981 they harvested their first crop and started making wine in Terry’s basement.

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. Now, the five cousins that grew up knowing the tidy rows and wild hidden places of Bethel Heights as their backyard playground, science lab and adventure park, have taken their places as co-owners, co-workers, and stewards of the winery.

In 2005 Ben Casteel (son of Terry and Marilyn) took over from his father as head 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, taste the grapes, 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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