Winery Reflections’ Nathan and Courtney Marton (who visited us pre-Covid) have shared their latest review of a Bells Up wine, this time focused on our 2021 Helios Estate Seyval Blanc. The married power reviewers are based in Southern California, and are always so generous with their time and notes. We couldn’t wait to hear what they thought of our latest Seyval Blanc, which they hadn’t reviewed since the 2019 vintage.
Here’s their review of the 2021 Helios:
Intriguingly expressive yet edgy explosions of orange peel, Asian pear, honeydew melon, papaya, and grapefruit pith boom with bright and characterful intensity within a delightfully crisp yet surprisingly deep display. Hints of thyme, raw almond, and sunflower seeds gently provide a range of slightly bitter herbal and nutty charms perfectly balanced against understated floral tones of geraniums and lilies. Subtle notes of struck match and flint softly reveal pleasant reductive qualities that fade into delicious earthy streaks of loamy soil and mildly-saline stony minerality.
Deliciously tart, dry, and refreshing on the palate with an interesting and well-executed balance of roundness and bite; exhibiting a complex and irresistibly crunchy presentation that is food friendly and fun while remaining tremendously layered and serious. Medium bodied and brimming with high acidity. This 2021 “Helios” Estate Seyval Blanc by Bells Up Winery is a distinct and delicious white from Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains.
Although relatively common in vineyards of the northeastern and midwestern United States, Seyval Blanc is a unique cold-hearty hybrid grape that remains extremely rare throughout much of the west coast and is only found in two vineyards in all of Oregon. This bottling, crafted by Bells Up Winery using Seyval Blanc grown at their estate vineyard in the Willamette Valley’s Chehalem Mountains, once again proves that this largely underappreciated variety can produce wines of excellent quality.
Made in a slightly riper style compared to Bells Up’s previous vintages, this generously spills gobs of intense citrus, orchard, melon, and even tropical fruits that come across as crisp despite their excellent depth, and it backs them with interesting herbal and nutty qualities, subtle florals, and clean earthiness. While likely best enjoyed upon release this may be an interesting candidate to cellar for 1-3 years, as additional layers of complexity may develop once its youthful exuberance has time to calm. Exceptional.