All's Well That Ends Bell
For us in the Pacific Northwest, spring and summer 2011 sucked. But here's our consolation prize.
Dismal. Drizzly. Dreary. Depressing. Such were May, June, and July 2011 up here in the northwestern corner of the country. In Seattle, we wore sweaters on the 4th of July. Sunshine? Yeah, right. Local weather guru Cliff Mass proclaimed "2010 and 2011 have simply been the worst over the past 60 years."
In the Willamette Valley of Oregon, 2011 wasn't much better. The warm season started late and didn't get all that warm. These poor Pinot Noir vines shivered through a grey and cloudy spring and summer before finally getting some relief in late July and August.
But then - sweet miracle! - it stayed warm later than usual, too. Perhaps the latest harvest on record brought these grapes home in big, burly bunches. And Bell Cellars turned them into a spicy, toasty, delicately berry-tinged Pinot Noir that's as robust and dynamic as that summer was blah and lifeless. We never thought we'd want to relive that miserable 2011, but this Bell Willamette Valley Pinot Noir gives those memories an alluring ruby-red hue.