Based in Portland, wine experts and reviewers Michele Francisco and Matt Talbot produce Winerabble, an online resource covering all things Pacific Northwest wine. Their extremely accessible, unpretentious approach ensures that their content is newbie friendly. Yet, as both have backgrounds in wine buying, marketing, tasting, reviewing and judging, they’re a great resource for connoisseurs as well.
Michele and Matt have long been highly complimentary of our Titan Pinot Noir, having reviewed the 2013, 2014, and 2019 vintage. Michele is also the Editor-in-Chief at the Oregon Wine Press. So when she put out a call for 2020 Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley as part of her research for an article she was putting together, we sent over all three: Titan, Jupiter, and Candide!
Here’s what they wrote:
The Winerabblers recently had the opportunity to sample 3 Bells Up Pinot noirs from the 2020 vintage. It was so interesting tasting them side-by-side-by-side, allowing us the chance to revisit each one several times. Matt and I discovered a thread of similarities, along with a few unique differences.
This vintage was a rough one – first the pandemic and then wildfires erupted all over the state during harvest time. The smoke from the fires drifted, and lingered, in Oregon’s many grape-growing regions. Some areas and vineyards were hit worse than others. Every winemaker in the state was forced to make hard decisions without enough information on whether or not their grapes were impacted by the smoke. Those that made wine, did so very carefully, painstakingly taking significant measures to produce the best wines possible.
Nonetheless, wine critics dismiss many of Oregon’s 2020s. However, we encourage you to be open-minded about wines from this vintage. Matt and I have found them to be quite interesting (and delicious) and hope you feel the same.
In true Winerabble fashion, Michele and Matt included their icon-based tasting notes for aromas and flavors for each wine, as shown below (images courtesy of Winerabble).
2020 Titan Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
On the nose and palate of 2020 Titan, Michele and Matt detect fresh herbs, cranberry, red cherries, toasted marshmallow, and wisps of campfire smoke, coupled with a full mouthfeel.
2020 Jupiter Estate Pinot Noir
On the nose and palate of 2020 Jupiter, Michele and Matt detect cedar, cranberry, black raspberry, red cherry, and wisps of campfire smoke. they also remarked on its nice acidity.
2020 Candide Zenith Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
On the nose and palate of 2020 Candide, Michele and Matt detect cranberry, dark chocolate, sandalwood, maple syrup, wisps of campfire smoke, and red cherry.