We were gratified to finally meet the incomparable Ellen Landis — certified sommelier, wine writer, and international wine judge — and her husband Ken (pictured with Dave, below) a couple of weeks ago when they came to visit our tasting room and sample both current wines and preview four new spring releases. Ellen previously reviewed three of our wines last summer on her blog, Ellen on Wine, after we shipped her samples, and was highly complimentary (calling them “striking and dramatic”), so we were super excited to get her feedback on the full line-up.
Not only did she review our wines, she also posted a feature story with Great Northwest Wine, “In tune with Bells Up Winery in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains.” It’s an absolute honor to be featured in the Pacific Northwest’s premier wine education and information website. (Ellen also took the terrific photo of us at the top, by the way.)
Since we haven’t had a chance to update any of our wines’ nose and palate descriptors, we’re delighted to share Ellen’s instead. Particularly because they’re professional. And, as everyone knows, we are decidedly not. Here’s what she wrote about each of the wines in our current lineup (the 2016 Titan Pinot Noir review was from her earlier article, “New Discoveries in the Willamette Valley”).
Bells Up Winery 2019 Rhapsody Pinot Blanc, Plum Hill Vineyard, Willamette Valley, $28: This vibrant Pinot Blanc was aged sur lie in stainless steel for six months, giving it a rich texture. The nose offers up sun-ripened stone fruit that leads to minerally notes and a tapestry of peach, summer melon and apricot flavors. Crackling acidity keeps it well balanced. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2019 Helios Estate Seyval Blanc, Chehalem Mountains, $28: Snappy and fresh, this wine captures the essence of this French hybrid. Planted in volcanic Jory soil and aged sur lie, the wine opens with leesy, tropical fruit notes. Bright and focused as crisp acidity and harmonious layers of star fruit, gooseberry and candied lemon traverse the palate with ease. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2019 Prelude Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, $22: Brimming with vibrancy, this dry Rosé was aged 6 months in neutral French oak, giving it a pretty softness on the palate, while brisk acids keep it nicely balanced. Strawberry, pomegranate, and red raspberry fruits entwine with a touch of spice, and a twist of orange pops on the refreshing finish. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2016 Titan Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $40: This expressive Pinot Noir combines florals with a touch of earth on the nose. Wild cherry, loganberry jam, red raspberry, a hint of earth, savory herbs, sweet tangerine notes, and a touch of candied cherries unravel seamlessly onto the palate. Well-balanced and ethereal with fine grained tannins and a satin-like texture, it flows harmoniously to a long and gratifying finish. (Source: Ellen Landis, Ellen on Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2017 Titan Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, $40: A blend of Pommard, 777 and 115 clones from the Chehalem Mountains and Yamhill-Carlton AVAs, this lively Pinot Noir was aged 12 months in 32% new French oak. Cherry, plum, floral notes and a dusting of herbs interlace with a hint of licorice and sandalwood spice. Decant if imbibing now or hold for future enjoyment. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2017 Candide Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains, $54: From the loess soils of Nemarniki Vineyard along Laurel Ridge comes this spirited Pinot Noir. Exhibiting aromas of black raspberry jam, it’s zesty after 12 months in 44% new French oak. Broad and mouthfilling on the palate with sweet red cherry, raspberries, cola, underlying oak and exotic spices cap the finish. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2017 Villanelle Pinot Noir, Yamhill-Carlton, $54: Sourced from the 4-acre Tonnelier Vineyard, enticing aromas of forest berries and rose petals rise from the glass. Silky in texture and palate pleasing as black cherry, wild berry, anise, savoriness, hints of earth and crushed herbs entwine. Aging of 12 months on 40% new French oak gives the wine a toasty note, and the long finale is elegant. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Bells Up Winery 2018 Summit View Vineyard Firebird Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $48: Beautifully expressive on the nose, here is a deep and delicious Syrah. From Ellisforde silt loam soils, it is well-structured with firm yet approachable tannins. Plum, Bing cherry and spice join accents of cured meats, and the flavors linger through the rich and pronounced finish. (Source: Ellen Landis, Great Northwest Wine)
Want to add any of these wines to your collection? We are thrilled to announce that the Spring Shipping window has opened, meaning we can ship wine virtually anywhere in the country. If you’re a Fanfare Club member, now is a great time to fulfill your annual commitment. Not a member? Consider joining our minimal obligations / maximum benefits wine club with this purchase. Call or email us today to place your order.