His And Her Oregon Pinots…I Like Hers!

No More Cute Couples Pics

Athena Pappas Sexy Pic

I have written so many posts and reviews of the Cute Winemaker Husband And Wife Lovebirds Stewart Boedecker And Athena Pappas of Boedecker Cellars even I am getting tired of them hahaha. Even they like different styles of Pinot Noirs where Stewart likes them more subtle and lighter and Athena likes more Masculine Intense styles. The money goes into the same bank account (I HOPE lol) but they split the difference in styles and produce a His and Her Pinot Noir every year. One is called the Stewart and the Other the Athena.. How cutie pie is that??? 95% of the time I personally prefer the Stewart over the Athena. The 2014’s we just received of both…myself and Wine Spectator prefer the Athena and there is a huge variation between the two. This is as all wine, personal preference of course. Now, I know you say how can a little tiny Greek woman pictured above so cute do the physical stuff that comes with the territory of being a winemaker??

Athena Pappas Pic

Don’t let her size or cute personality fool you. She can probably kick Stewart’s and my butt and she is not one to shy away from the long hours and physical work (Not like me who would pay someone else to do it for me lol)

Time For Some Jewish Guilt

A week away from the Jewish New Year, let me be repetitive about how long this couple have been making some of Oregon’s finest . Stewart and Athena fell in love with Pinot Noir while dating many, many years ago. They read, took courses, imbibed and interned until ultimately they founded Boedecker Cellars in 2003…

To clear the air… let me remind Mr and Mrs Boedecker… I have been with them since 2004 as a big supporter. They wouldn’t have one account in the State of Florida let alone all the Restaurant accounts in Charlotte NC and Tyson’s Corner Virginia let alone being a Sourced and Certified Producer for about 7 Years with ABC Fine Wine and Spirits exclusively in 120 stores in the State of Florida….(despite of what you might have read lol ) If it weren’t for what Stewart calls me “Their Unpaid Florida Marketing Director”….MOI!!… Are you feeling a little guilty? Probably not. Their wines are so good eventually they would have made it here in the State. With that cleared up… I love both of them like family. I unlike other sommeliers and buyers separate my personal feelings from the business side. Even if they were related…. if their wines are good I rate them well and like the 2011’s which some loved…I totally despised. Like other wineries, they know if Larry The Wine Guy gives a compliment or positive review, I am not doing friends a favor it is because I mean it!!! L’chiam!!  That’s why this 2014 I am reviewing the 2014 Athena Pinot Noir and not the Stewart if you get my drift!! :-))

2014 Boedecker Athena Pinot Noir

Athena Front

Athena Rear

I love the new front label packaging… Looks more elegant.. I guess as the lovebirds get older and more popular, they are joining the ranks of other marketed wines with the corniest rear labels I have ever seen hahaha. If you can read the back label last line… It says and I quote ” Layered with flavors evocative of black cherries enjoyed during a hike through an Oregon Rain Forest” (I can’t stop giggling) What the heck does that mean for 99% of the wine world? I think it tastes like a juicy black plum enjoyed while sitting on a hot steamy park bench dripping in sweat while having an outdoor picnic in Fort Lauderdale Florida hahaha… Ok …enough with the punchlines…I told you I love these two people but now down to business.

1100 cases produced. 30% of the harvest is Whole Cluster Fermented (Carbonic Maceration…Like a Hike in an Oregon Rainforest…STOP IT LARRY!!) I love this method as it really extracts flavors and color of the fruit. Aged for 10 Months in New French Oak and then in seasoned more neutral Barrels when they rack them before the period of bottling (Fancy French World Elevage) .. The vineyards and the many clones of Pinot Noir come from different soils and many Red Burgundy Clones so this wine is totally made in the style of a Red Burgundy and not American Pinot Noir.

The Vineyards
Carlton Hill Vineyard
Yamhill-Carlton, marine sedimentary soils,
Clones: Wadenswil, Pommard
Cherry Grove Vineyard
 Willamette Valley, marine sedimentary soils, 15 year old vines.
Clones: 667, 114, Pommard
Finnigan Hill Vineyard
Chehalem Mountains, Jory (volcanic) soil, 5-7 year old vines.
Clones: 667, Pommard
Hirschy Vineyard
Yamhill-Carlton, marine sedimentary soils, 9 year old vines.
Clones: 667, Pommard
Stoller Vineyard
Dundee Hills, Volcanic soils, 11 year old vines.
Clones: 115, 667, 777

My Review

Athena Glass

First as I always say being an Oregon Pinotphile like I am, these $35.00 per glass Oregon Pinot Noir Model, from Riedel are the best investment I ever made. It’s the only way not to drink any Pinot Noir but specifically, no B.S. , Oregon Pinots. The color is textbook almost like Burgundy but typical of the Boedecker Trademark. Garnet red almost brownish on the edges or orange (Volcanic Soils and Jory Soils) and transparent as ALL Pinot Noirs should be if they weren’t blending 15 other grapes like they do in California. One of the most precise Pinot Noir aromas I have had and flavor profile in years. Very seductive cherry, raspberry and lots of floral perfume. On the palate this is carefully crafted stuff with a totally silky and sleek palate of black raspberry/herbal tea just sailing though the back of my palate with a hint of cinnamon spice, and blackberry brambly notes on a persistent long finish. Tim Fish of Wine Spectator scored the Athena 91 Points… I would personally have gone as high as 95 out of 100 but in my Oregon World of Pinot I wish it had less time in New Oak. Burgundy can get away with 100% New French Oak because after aging for 20 years that spice and notes soften but here just a little less time and a little less spice as this is ready to drink tonight or hold for 5-10 years if not more. I will score it 93 points. I must mention the Stewart Pinot Noir 2014 from Spectator scored  an 86 although Wine Advocate and James Suckling went 91 (We all have different palates) I don’t love every Picasso or Van Gogh ether. I agree with Spectator… The Stewart is to0 herbal for me and not as precise and Seductive as the Athena….Just like the two people in Reality (One more final punchline for good measure lol)

The Summary

If you buy a more expensive Red Burgundy you are looking at $50 to $90 per bottle that won’t be ready to drink for 10 years. This 2014 Athena at $31.99 at ABC in Florida or $38.00 from online at the winery website is ready to drink now and enjoy. I have drank a lot of Pinot Noirs and a lot of Boedecker wines. I must tell you that the precision and sleek style and floral aromatics and intensity of the fruit profile of the Athena 2014 is one of my favorite Pinot Noirs from Oregon in decades. While we still have Wild Salmon Available in Florida Fresh… I Sauteed a piece up Crispy Skin of course, with some sauteed Wild Mushrooms and Rainbow  Swiss Chard. It was totally pleasurable , a perfect match for a very rainy night’s dinner. You must pick up a bottle or a case (Small Production) so you can enjoy this amazing effort as much as I did. The bad news is it will not be as much fun as eating black cherries on a hike through an Oregon Rain Forest :-)))))))

Grape-fully yours, Larry

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