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Bells Up Winery

Bells Up Winery is a very small boutique producer of Oregon Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, and Washington Syrah located in the Chehalem Mountains. David and Sara Pearson Specter were inspired to open a winery in the Willamette Valley after a vacation at Chehalem Ridge Bed & Breakfast in Newberg in 2008. David began to pursue winemaking as a hobby shortly thereafter, eventually pursuing professional winemaking through a wine apprenticeship at an urban winery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and winning awards at national amateur winemaking competitions.

David moved his family to Oregon in the summer of 2012, and together with Sara, acquired a suitable 10-acre site and directed construction of a small winery and tasting room in a former barn on the property. They cleared a south facing hillside on the property and planted 3 acres of Pommard and 667 Pinot Noir clones in 2014, Willamette Valley’s first planting of Syval Blanc in 2015, and 2.5 acres of 113, 943 and Wädenswil Pinot Noir clones in 2016. The winery was established in 2013 and the first wines were released on Memorial Day 2015.

The name “Bells Up” comes from David’s French horn playing, with bells up referring to a dramatic moment in classical music where the composer instructs French horn players to lift the bells of their instruments up and project sound with maximum intensity. David played the French horn throughout high school and college, and the winery is his “Bells Up” moment. The Specter’s inspiration for their winery model comes from their nearby mentors at Privé Vineyard, a small winery I have visited several times and one of some renown.

The 2014 and 2015 vintage wines were produced from sourced fruit. Production is 400 cases annually. The wines are sold through a mailing list and the tasting room that is open by appointment. The tasting room is adjacent Medici Vineyard. Visit

2015 Bells Up Prelude Willamette Valley Oregon Rosé of Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 65 cases, $18. 15-year-old, non irrigated vines, clones 777 and 115. Exposed to skins for 24 hours, then pressed before fermentation. Fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral oak. · Light pinkish orange color in the glass. Aromas of ripe strawberries, brown spices and orange zest. Pure flavors of blood orange, strawberry and spice. Nicely balanced and easy going. Score: 88

2014 Bells Up Rhapsody Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Blanc

12.8% alc., 116 cases, $22. Aged on the lees in stainless steel tanks for 6 months. No malolactic fermentation. · Light greenish-yellow color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of apple, citrus and pear in a clean and fresh style, with a savory bent and a riff of aciddriven salinity. Score: 86

2014 Titan Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.59, 128 cases, $40. Fall release. 24% Pommard (25-years-old), 38% 115 (15-years-old), and 38% 777 (15-years-old). Both Jory and Willakenzie soils. 100% de-stemmed, aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 35% new. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Decanted before tasting, but still shy, offering aromas and flavors of dark cherry, plum, spice and toast. Well-balanced, with a modest but satisfying finish. Score: 89-90

2014 Bells Up Villanelle Tonnelier Vineyard Reserve Yamhill-Carlton Oregon Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., 53 cases, $54. A barrel selection. From a 3.5-acre vineyard on sedimentary Willakenzie soil. Equal parts free run clones 115 and 777 (15-year-old vines) aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 45% new. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting complexity in this wine sporting aromas of black cherry, dark raspberry, spice and tobacco, and flavors of black cherry, orange pekoe tea and spice. Plenty of fruit driven power to please, but easy to cozy up to with suede-like tannins and an energetic finish. Score: 90-91

2013 Titan Willamette Valley Oregon Pinot Noir

12.5% alc., pH 3.77, TA 0.60, 163 cases, $40. 34% Pommard clone from Chehalem Mountains and 33% each clones 115 and 777 from Yamhill-Carlton. Both vineyards are planted in Willakenzie soil. Grapes picked after September rains. Aged 11 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Earth-kissed aromas of cherry and orange pekoe tea. Elegant, with a “crunchy” texture, featuring cherry and spiced plum flavors, and a juicy finish. Score: 89

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