Sometimes praise and props slip by us. And it is SO EMBARRASSING when that happens. We even use Google Alerts, which are supposed to trawl the internet, looking for mentions of “Bells Up Winery.”
Yet, sometimes those fail. And sometimes the praise is so over the top unexpected that we never in a million years would have thought to look for it.
So it is with this insane and outrageously humbling accolade awarded to us by none other than THE Jeff Kralik, a Texas-based wine writer who blogs as The Drunken Cyclist.
At the end of 2021—a few months after he visited us in person—Jeff released his Top Ten Red Wines List. It’s based on all the wines he sampled in 2021, including four of our Pinot Noirs. His favorite red wine of 2021?
None other than 2019 Jupiter Estate Pinot Noir.
We’re blushing. Partly because we’re incredibly stunned and honored by his selection. And partly because we’re really freaking horrified that we missed the post when it came out nearly two years ago. Whoopsie! Sorry Jeff (we’ve already apologized to him directly as well).
For my Red Wine of the Year, I went to a new winery (at least to me–they have been around for a decade), a really small producer in Newberg, Oregon. I met Dave and Sara Specter on a trip to the Willamette Valley, and instantly fell for their wines.
2019 Bells Up Winery Pinot Noir Jupiter, Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, OR: Retail $48. Fanfare Club Only. First 100% Estate Pinot. Fairly light in the glass. Another whoa on the nose. Rich, concentrated, but also floral and fruity. A little bit of wet rock. The palate starts off rather shy, but by the mid-palate this really starts to shine. Richness, depth, spice but the finish is really where this wine explodes. The tartness is fantastic but the intensity of the fruit and spice is what sets it apart. Whoa. Outstanding. 96 Points.
Normally, this is the spot where we encourage you to reach out to us to reserve your bottles.
But this wine has been sold out for a long time already. It WILL be reappearing again in a few years as a Library Release. So stay tuned!