Dr. Owen Bargreen, wine reviewer and Level 2 Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers (seen above with Winemaker Dave when he dropped in for a quick visit last summer), recently reviewed our two 2019 white wines — Helios Seyval Blanc and Rhapsody Pinot Blanc — on Washington Wine Blog. He particularly enjoyed the Helios, writing:
Dave makes the only Seyval Blanc that I have seen in this region and he has crafted a gorgeous version, the 2019 Bells Up ‘Helios’ Seyval Blanc (WWB, 91) which is novel, complex and is massively somm-friendly as this would pair with a great variety of shellfish.
Here’s what he says:
2019 Bells Up ‘Helios’ Seyval Blanc – A highly obscure varietal, Bells Up owners have planted Seyval Blanc at their estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. The grassy tones on the nose make you think new world Sauvignon Blanc, as unripe pear and melon tones round out the aromatics. The palate is gratifying with its soft texture and great astringency. Layers of sour apple and unripe cantaloupe collide with minerals and wet stone on the palate. Lithe and refreshing, enjoy this excellent new wine in the short-term. Drink 2020-2025 – 91
2019 Bells Up ‘Rhapsody’ Pinot Blanc – Another less typically seen varietal that made its fame in Alsace, the 2019 ‘Rhapsody’ Pinot Blanc shows lovely nutty and damp earth tones that collide with shades of kumquat and green papaya on this evocative nose. Soft and round once on the attack, the wine yields some juicy acidity that connects with a light dusting of salinity and the Gravenstein apple, kiwi and melon flavors. Enjoy this in its youth while the good freshness remains intact. Drink 2020-2024 – 89