Oregon Wine Club – June 2015

2010 Boedecker Cellars, Cherry Grove Vineyard Pinot Noir
By sheer coincidence, this month we are featuring two wineries that we first showcased back in 2009 (in different months) but who we’ve been out of touch with since. Also coincidentally, both of this month’s wines are from the cooler 2010 vintage. The first comes from Boedecker Cellars, a collaboration of the husband and wife team of Stewart Boedecker and Athena Pappas who began crafting wine together in 2003. In 2008 they moved into their own urban winery in northwest Portland. Their goal has always been to create wines that reflect the diversity of the Willamette Valley and to that end, they carefully selected vineyards throughout the region to lease and farm. Each year they taste through their 300-plus barrels to determine what goes into their blends and what into their single-vineyard offerings. In addition to such well-known vineyards as Shea and Stoller, they also source fruit from Cherry Grove Vineyard, located in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range north of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA. This 20-acre site, which is also used by Antica Terra and Roots among others, consists of sedimentary Willakenzie and Melbourne soils, known for producing texturally-driven Pinots with flavors of black fruit, coffee, and cocoa. This wine has beautiful, enticing aromas that lead right into its smooth, delicate flavors and elegant, supple mouthfeel. An amazing result from a challenging vintage it is $53 and is lovely now, although it should also age well for another five years or more.

2010 Cancilla Cellars, Pinot Noir
We featured winemaker Ken Cancilla’s Chardonnay back in 2009, but ever since then he’s be kind of under our radar. His wines tend to be under the radar in general—partly because he doesn’t make a lot to begin with, and most of that he sells through his winery and at a few select restaurants in the Portland area. Also, as owner, vineyard manager, and winemaker at Cancilla Cellars, he spends a lot of his time on his small estate located, like Cherry Grove above, in the foothills of the Coast Range. Ken sells some of his fruit to a handful of Oregon wineries, but keeps the best for himself making small amounts of wine under his own label. He aims for an Old World sensibility in those wines, focusing on the fruit flavors and ample acidity, with judicious use of oak. The 2010 vintage, with its long, cool growing season, and flocks of birds descending on the vineyards just before the fruit was fully ripened, was a challenge for many producers but, as Ken says, “I live right there in the vineyards! I know exactly how the grapes are doing; when to pick and when to wait.” His harvest that year was small, but the flavors that eventually developed were delicious, with smooth notes of cherries and blueberries and, as he points out on the label, ample acidity for it to pair well with a wide variety of foods. It is $29.75.