When Winery Reflections’ Nathan and Courtney Marton visited us last year, they were particularly eager to try our estate Seyval Blanc, having not had that varietal before. The duo, a pair of prolific wine writers and oeno-academics based in Southern California, were intrigued and specifically requested the 2019 Helios Seyval Blanc in their spring shipment for review.
Here’s what they had to say:
Tart lime peel, elderflower, underripe passion fruit. Lemon pith, celery stalk, sour green apple. Gooseberry, grapefruit zest, and tart green pear highlight an incredibly crisp and snappy attack flush with pronounced impressions of lemongrass, jasmine, and stuck match. A powerful waft of black currant bud reveals an intriguing streak of pungent florals that intersects playfully with fresh parsley and a medley of herbal and grassy notes. Hints of pickled ginger emerge to provide just a dash of complex root spice while a wave of gunpowder complicates aromatics with charming lightly reductive funk.
Extremely tart, crunchy, and linear on the palate; packed with tremendously juicy citrus-driven intensity before finishing with smooth refreshing minerality. Medium minus in body with elevated and lingering acidity. This 2019 “Helios” Estate Seyval Blanc by Bells Up Winery is a delicious one-of-a-kind white from the Willamette Valley.
Seyval Blanc is a unique early-ripening hybrid grape planted mainly in the northeast USA and England. Although it is sparsely found on the USA’s west coast, this grape became such a favorite of Bells Up owners and Ohio natives Dave & Sara Specter that they devoted a small parcel of their Oregon property to its production.
This bottling, crafted by Bells Up Winery using Seyval Blanc sourced from their home vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains, proves that this esoteric variety can make truly exciting wine in the Willamette Valley. Coming strictly from a singular .5 acre vineyard block this wine is fabulously characterful and bursting with intense youthful energy. It playfully explodes with a medley of puckeringly tart citrus-led fruits and a range of grassy tones while managing to remain both complex and refreshing. This is an extremely unique small production white perfect to combat the coming summer heat.
Just to confirm, we asked if they liked it. Their response? “Hahaha how could we not! This is a super unique wine that we have been wanting to nerd out about since we first tasted it at your estate last year. You guys are doing this variety tremendous justice!!”