2020 Bells Up Winery Jupiter Pinot Noir

  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

The Points

Wine scoring

If we have preached one thing throughout our years as a wine blogger it is this:  Don't get wrapped up in the scores!  Lets repeat that.  Do NOT get wrapped up in the scores.  So, why do most people "score" wines then, you ask?  Because most people need a guide, or a report card instead of just "word of mouth" when it comes to selecting a wine.  Whether it's the traditional and most popular 100-point system used widely in the United States, or the familiar 20-point system used primarily by the French, grading scales are popular and commonplace and provide guidance on "hey, this is really good" versus "man, I wouldn't let my dog lick that off of a car tire".  You get the point.

What do we look for in a great wine?  For us, it's the overall product.  It starts with the label.  If the wine is on a shelf, does it pull you in?  After the label is the presentation.  How does it look after a generous pour?  What are the aromas?  What are the tastes?  How is the finish?  Is it memorable?  Will you be able to drink it in the future or will be be vinegar in 6 months?  These are just a few things that go into the overall score.

Over the years we have had many wine producers ask us not to give their wines a point rating.  And, to be honest, that is something that we really enjoy (and prefer).  The notes about the wine should paint a picture for the reader that will quickly allow them to determine whether or not they want to spend their hard earned money on this bottle or that bottle.  So the next time someone tells you that they only drink wines rated 95 points are higher, tell them that you drink wines that taste great, no matter what kind of high school grade that they received.  And then tell them to pound sand.

The secret to enjoying a good wine:  Open the bottle and allow it to breathe.  If the bottle does not look like it is breathing, give it mouth to mouth and repeat.  -Unknown


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