For the fourth year, wine writer and reviewer Jeff Kralik, aka “The Drunken Cyclist,” conducted his annual Blind Tasting of American Pinot Noir this past November. (Jeff featured Bells Up in his regular Wednesday Winery Spotlight post a couple of months ago.) He emailed us this fall to invite us to submit any pinots we’d like to be considered. Ultimately, Jeff and his fellow tasters — three local wine writers, all based in Texas — sampled 48(!) pinots in a single sitting.
Of the session, he writes: “The design was to taste through the wines blind, which means that I did not know which wine was ever in my glass (well, my four glasses, as I tasted that many at a time). Tasting wines blind is always a good exercise as knowing what a wine is can always introduce bias when it comes to evaluation. Blind tasting also can produce a few surprises, as was certainly the case this time around. This year, there were 48 wines to go through, which took up about 5 hours. Pour. Swirl. Sniff. Sip. Slurp. Spit. Scribble. Repeat.”
Here’s how our two submissions fared:
2019 Bells Up Winery Pinot Noir Titan, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $44. Rich, fruity, almost sweet with a hint of slate and flint. The palate is quite tart with the acidity really dominant here, the fruit (sour cherry) taking a back seat. Long finish, but just a bit too tart for me. Excellent. 90 Points.
2019 Bells Up Winery Pinot Noir Candide, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $54. Medium color with a luscious nose of fruit and a touch of spice. Whoa. Tart, fruity, and great balance on the palate. This is another fantastic wine. Excellent. 92 Points.
Jeff also previously reviewed four of our Pinot Noirs during his visit here in the summer.