2020 Bells Up Winery Jupiter Pinot Noir

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  Rounding out our tastings of samples from Bells Up Winery is their 2020 Jupiter Pinot Noir.  This comes from an estate vineyard in the Chehalem Mountains.  Three words.... It is fantastic.  Too often we have been slightly underwhelmed by Pinot, often getting the "same old" dusty, overly sweet rose petal vibe.  But not with this.  This Pinot Noir is built differently and if this is testament to the Chehalem Mountains AVA, then we can't wait to visit some day.  Cherry pie, tobacco leaf, graphite and forest floor on the nose.  Solid medium purple color makes an introduction to rhubarb, cherry pomegranate and a subtle hint of pepper, leading to a finish that leaves you yearning for more.  This wine should be in your cellar and with such a low production, you'd better act fast.  This is drinking wonderfully now and should for another 5-7 years. ABV:  13.5% Chehalem Mountains, OR Production:  94 cases Suggested retail price:  $48.00 Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay

This post is a couple of weeks overdue, but the timing is right considering the scorching heat that most of the US is experiencing right now.  Many people feel that heavier red wines are cumbersome when the heat index is hovering around triple digits and while I am not one of those people, I think some white wines (slightly chilled) are better suited for the sweltering heat.  With that, I give you the 2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay.   This is Chardonnay exactly - e x a c t l y - how I like it to taste.  Whether or not oak is your thing, this 100% varietal has just enough that isn't overpowering, but it definitely helps bring the flavors together.  This wine has a really welcoming light gold color with lemon candy and warm buttered bread dominant on the nose.  Extremely creamy on the palate (again, just how I love it), lemon cake, baked cinnamon apple and baking spices combine beautifully and create a finish that clean and extremely satisfying.  This is definitely the best Chardonnay I have tasted in recent memory and it takes me back to our first California trip 9 years ago.  Frank Family Vineyards has really knocked this wine out of the park and as a side note, they have some of the most beautiful wine labels, which really adds to the conversation.  With 25,000 cases produced there is enough for everyone, so add this to your tasting line up.

2016 Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay label

ABV:  14.4%

Carneros, Napa Valley, California

Suggested retail price:  $38.00

Drink The Bottles score:  95/100


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