Bell Wine Cellars Pinot Noir (3)

Bell Wine Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 3-Pack
$64.99 $126.00 48% off List Price
2012 Bell Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
CT link above

Winery website

Since our visit with Anthony at Bell last year with the rpm/ww tour, this has become another “auto buy” and likely and rpm auto buy as well. His stuff is the real deal, not some flashy CA/Parker meant to grab gold at tastings.

Simply amazing clonal tasting with Anthony and staff we were fortunate to attend.

Got a number of his wines while were there, and again when we went to the Corison 25 year tasting.

Well below club pricing this is.

"Vintage Notes: The 2012 growing season in Napa Valley was about as perfect as it could be for grape growing. "

Whoops. :slight_smile:

Ok, Guys, as RJ said, “This is an autobuy”. We were sooo impressed with the wines from Bell this past summer and this is such a great deal! Anthony Bell spent a great deal of time with us and taught us a lot of about grape growing and wine making. Anthony, thank you for coming back to woot with this great offer! :slight_smile:

I’m wondering if any of us have actually tasted this wine!
I was also a huge fan of our visit this past August to Anthony’s winery. Amazing tasting, delicious wines, and a great guy.

Now…how to justify pressing the button on this one? Help!

The good news is that 2012 was a great year in Oregon as well!

No brainer. I’m in.

The monkey dropped a bottle of this off at our doorstep a few days before we left for Puerto Vallarta. We ferried the bottle to Puerto Vallarta with us.

As a prelude, I want to note that we did not have optimum tasting conditions. I was looking forward to enjoying this with some wonderful local seafood; unfortunately DW fell ill our second day here, and the lingering effects governed our dinner preparations, tilting toward the bland and easily digestible. Nevertheless, forthwith our commentary.

Initial pour immediately after opening: The wine is deep purple color. Not opaque, but strongly colored. Nose is broad and well-developed – dominated by red berries, with undertones of spiciness and fruit. Typical of most Willamette Valley PN, “dark” notes are subdued.

In the mouth there is a strong initial attack, dominated by red berries and red fruits, with good acidity. A bit of initial tannin, enough to be noticeable with no dryness. Well balanced and structured; no defects noted.

One hour after opening: The wine is continuing to open up. Nose is unchanged, flavors are enhanced. Tannins are also much more evident; in fact, combined with the acidity now it’s a tad sharp on the edges (but not unpleasantly so). On the initial pour I was questioning if this would hold for more than a few years. However, now it seems to me that not only does it have enough acidity and structure to hold for a while, it’s actually going to benefit from some added time. If the 2012 vintage is as strong as advertised, the added time could very beneficial.

My overall assessment is that this is a very good Willamette Valley PN. As a point of comparison I had the opportunity to rat the 2010 Solena Estate PN. I subsequently went in for two on the Solena Estate PN vertical when it appeared on woot, which included the 2012 Zena Crown. The Solena offering came out to $20/bottle, which made it an easy buy (a.k.a., a steal of a deal). To my palate this offering is very close to, but one cut just below, the Solena Estate offering.

Wooters who are not familiar with Willamette Valley PNs should be aware that this PN will be more restrained than stereotypical California PNs.

Specs from bottle label:

  • 5 months in barrel
  • 90% French; 10% American; 21% new
  • Acid: 0.65 gm/100 ml
  • pH: 3.58
  • bottling date: 11/20/2013
  • bottles produced: 8796
  • alcohol 13.6% (v/v)

I’m glad I took the time to listen to Anthony’s comments, because I found the printed notes a bit confusing, describing fruit from the Willamette Valley and vintage notes from Napa. This is indeed Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, mostly Pommard clone, although he doesn’t say where the wine is actually made. I can’t imagine transporting the grapes from Oregon to Napa; maybe the winemaker can shed some light on that. As others have already posted, our visit to the Bell Winery as part of the rpm tour last summer was both enjoyable and informative, and every wine we tasted was extremely well-made. SWMBO jumped on this as soon as she saw it, sparing my credit card the ordeal.

I’m in. I like the specs and comments on this wine.

Bell is always an auto buy for me.

Thanks to the rodent and your note, Scott, I’m in!
Wish I was with the rest of the crew this weekend for their stop at your place.

I’d take one more.

Yes, Bell has become an rpm AUTOBUY.

I’m looking forward to this one - I like Willamette Pinots and so does SWMBO. Notes on this suggest it will be a very good value!

I can help you with that. You want 1 or 2?

Bell is known for superb Cabernet and Merlot. How and why did you get involved with Oregon Pinot Noir?

Sorry everyone regarding the vintage notes. We have always used Napa vintage notes for our wine notes, even the Oregon wines! Honestly never thought of doing otherwise - my bad!! As someone mentioned, 2012 was a very good vintage year in Oregon and grapes developed very well. Someone also discussed the expected wine style and I will say that their assessment is absolutely correct. This is not your normal extracted California Pinot noir - you will find it more gentle in style and I think more true to the variety. I think Pinot noir should be soft and delicate and big and bold wines should come from the varieties that tend to deliver big and bold grapes. That is why we have different grape varieties.

It actually started off with a desire to make Pinot gris - initially from Mendocino. I could not find the fruit style I had in mind and we dropped the project. Then Pinot noir became fashionable and my partners wanted me to make a Pinot. One thing led to another and it dawned on us that we should look at Oregon - both for Pinot gris and Pinot noir. They have obviously laid claim to the two varietals and do an terrific job with their grapes. Given that I drew the boundaries for the Carneros appellation in Napa, it is rather ironic that Bell goes to Oregon - but it is all about the fruit quality right? We work with a custom crush winery to help us source the fruit and they crush and ferment the wines for us. We then ship the fermented wine down to Yountville where we age and bottle the wine. I prefer this to trucking the grapes and risking losing fruit components or the grapes beginning to ferment on us. It has worked very well for us and I feel it has allowed us to produce the delicate style, with lovely red fruits, that we have established. It also allows us to better manage the acidity in the wines.

I apologize for that. We have always used Napa notes for all of our wines, including the Oregon wines. Good news is the 2012 vintage in OR was just as good.

Always happy to be a part of the Woot community. I enjoy the conversations and the comments. I hope you enjoy the wine.