Is It Rosé? Is it Orange Wine? Is It Red Wine? No! It’s Pinot Gris/Grigio!


Crimson Pinot Gris Grapes

YES!! This Is Pinot Gris/Grigio Grapes!!

Yes Pinot Grigio Drinkers! Pinot Gris first of all is the same grape variety that in Italian is pronounced Pinot Grigio. Secondly, Pinot Gris (Gray) Is a grayish colored RED SKINNED Grape. That white wine you order constantly  is made from the juice of a Red Skinned Grape! That means you can make a wonderful Rose out of the wine as well with minimal skin contact or the first free run juice of the red skins. Or you can leave the Red Skins in Contact with the Juice for an unheard of 28 DAYS!!. Who would be artistic enough to create this Neon Pink Orange hued Wine? None other than my long term friends, husband and wife winery owners and winemakers Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas from Boedecker Cellars in Urban Portland Oregon.

I Supported These Peeps Since 2004!!

We go back a long way!! I can remember Stewart still working during the day at Intel making Computer Chips and producing wines as newbies to the game in the Carlton Shared Wine Studios when they lived in Portland. I don’t think I ever worked at any concept even a Grocery Store where somehow I had to find a way to get that venue to carry their wines. For those who haven’t heard me ramble on about them let me give you the brief overview

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.

After 5 years at crafting wines at Oregon’s first shared use winery, they built their urban winery in the heart of industrial Northwest Portland – just a stone’s throw from downtown and less than an hour from their vineyards. Dedicated to the winemaking, when you visit Boedecker Cellars today you will likely encounter Stewart and Athena in the cellar tasting through barrels and tending their wines.

Stewart is a lover of the classic Oregon Pinot Noir, aromatically brilliant, full of red fruit flavors, subtle notes of bramble and olive wood, complex and focused with structure to age indefinitely. His fascination with and passion for Oregon Pinot Noir began when in 1992 Stewart made wine while at Cornell University. In Oregon, he later volunteered in exchange for knowledge at a number of well-established Oregon wineries, enrolled in winemaking classes at UC Davis and Chemeketa CC and eventually founded Boedecker Cellars with Athena in 2003.

Athena loves depth, intensity that interplay with the complexity and transparency in Pinot noir. She also she loves to climb the barrels, stir the wines, and drive the forklift. A native Portlander with a Greek heritage; to say winemaking is her passion falls short; winemaking is her identity. 

To Split the difference of Styles they just created a His and Hers Pinot Noir. A STEWART and an ATHENA. It beats fighting lol. They use native yeasts, minimal intervention and all their wines in their portfolio let the vintage, and terroir speak to the palate. But now let’s get to this Pink, Neon, Orange UFO Pinot Gris !

2017 Boedecker Cellars CRIMSON Pinot Gris

Crimson Front

Crimson Rear

First , thanks to a colleague and friend of mine David Perlman for buying me at my request a bottle of this Crimson Pinot Gris while he was on vacation in Oregon. As you can see on the rear of the label this wine is only 50 cases made. The only way you are going to get to try this unique creation is by stopping in like David did if you are in Oregon and there is any left or by possibly purchasing on line ( I will provide the link in my summary if they have any to sell you)

This wine uses Pinot Gris Grapes  from an A.V.A which is part of Willamette (Rhymes with Damn It ) Valley called the Chehalem Mountains as you can see on this map below

Crimson AVA MAP

This wine is Fermented on the Red Skins of the Pinot Gris for a Whopping 28 Days. It is fined (Clarified) On the Lees (Dead Yeast Cells) of their Chardonnay wines and aged in nice neutral french oak barrels. It is an Unfiltered Wine. Is it rocket science to make this wine? No! Is it ballsy and artistic and cool? Way Yes. Let’s Review

My Review

Crimson Glass Bottle

Crimson Glass

I know they are winemakers but I have a pretty trained palate that in my Heyday I used to taste 50-60 Wines per week sourcing out new wines for MY List. I say this because the back of the bottle gives tasting notes that I don’t get 90% of lol!!  Persimmons? I used to eat these all summer long in New York and just ate some in Italy. They are known as Honey Apricots cause of their Honeyed Sweetness . There  ain’t one bit of sweetness in this wine which to me is a Godsend!!! . Apricots also on the label I will give them on the nose and slightly on the palate. So let me tell you this being my second bottle of this wine, what I get!

I have posted about this wine the first time I tasted it on Social Media. Stewart even responded and re posted my tasting notes and said “That’s it!!!” I nailed it. I really think this is the Wine Drinker who wants all the flavor profiles of a Manhattan Cocktail but with only 13.4% Alcohol . Put a Cherry Garnish and call it a day lol. Even on the aromatics of this wine when it is not ICE ICE Cold, you get fragrances of Red Vermouth. People call it Sweet Vermouth but it’s not really Sweet. In fact if you take one of those Cold Eeeze Zinc Lozenges and melt it into some Aperol You kind of get that Amaro or Bitter but pleasant medicinal Marasca Cherry Notes blended with the Savory Herbs used to make Vermouth. The palate is so refreshing and clean with lovely dried red fruits and maraschino cherry (The Real Ones like Luxardo) Not the ones covered in Red Syrup and notes of citrus type flavors of apricot. The Wine just glides down so easy and fresh with a mouthwatering juicy but dry finish with just that last hint of cherry tartness. It’s a FREAKING MANHATTAN!!! Add Prosecco and you save money on APEROL you have a more affordable SPRITZ!! If you can get any of this stuff, This would be the IDEAL of ALL TIME Thanksgiving Wines. It is very Salmon Friendly as well!. I score this unique creation 89 Points out of 100. I can’t get enough of it!! I love You Guys!!!!!

My Summary

If you are a Rose fan …Throw them all out. This isn’t a Rose. Crimson should have a category of it’s own and 90% Of the flavors are coming from the Skins of a Pinot Gris Grape and this tastes zero like a Pinot Grigio. Get online and get whatever they have left. Beg them for a CASE if they have it. Here is the link http://store.boedeckercellars.com/item/crimson-pinot-gris  $25 per bottle plus shipping and PLEASE Tell Them Larry The Wine Guy Sent You To Their Site. Save it for Thanksgiving. You will never find a better food paring even for Christmas Day if you can get your hands on this unique wine by artisan winemakers!! 

Grape-fully yours, Larry

The Lovebirds

Crimson Stewart Athena

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