Teutonic Wine Company 2015 Pinot Gamay “1787” Blend

Alsatian style wines, turned up to 11

Barnaby Tuttle was doing great. He was the general manager and wine buyer for the famed Papa Haydn restaurant – a Viennese “Kaffeehaus” in Portland. But then, a wine importer brought him fourteen Rieslings to consider from the Mosel Valley region of Germany. He fell in love with all them, and proceeded to cultivate one of the largest German wine lists in the city.

Not satisfied with merely buying wine, Barnaby told his wife, Olga, that he wanted to craft wines with as much terroir and character as those Rieslings. So, with no formal training, they found a small piece of land and in 2005 planted two thousand vines. Barnaby quit his job and worked from the bottom up at a variety of small wineries in the valley. They now buy grapes from a variety of wineries throughout the region but are committed to sites that are high elevation and completely dry farmed.

Today, Teutonic has a tasting room and production facility in Portland’s industrial Southeast, and they’ve become known for their Alsatian-style wines with quirky character and amazing quality.

(And yes, it’s true – quite a few of their wines are named in honor of the film “This is Spinal Tap”.)

Cellar 503 Tasting Notes

Teutonic Wine Company, Portland, Oregon
2015 Pinot Gamay “1787” Blend

In 1787, in the Mosel Valley, an archbishop issued a stern decree – the Rieslingsedikt – that all red grapes should be burned and replaced with Riesling. (The historical evidence is weak, however, for the oft-repeated assertion that winemakers themselves were also burned at the stake for refusing Riesling.) Over the years, subsequent authorities ignored the law and red varieties – like Pinot Noir and Gamay Noir – were planted in the region.

Old & Cold, High & Dry, Wood & Wild. Olga and Barnaby Tuttle source fruit from old vines in cold, high elevations from dry farmed vineyards. They use only neutral oak to age their wines and only wild yeast for fermentation. And everything is done in the Alsatian style.

The Tuttles let their grapes hang on the vines, allowing the grapes to absorb the flavors of the land. You’ll find the characteristic strawberry and cherry of a typical Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, while the Gamay boosts the intensity of fruit flavors. This wine would be fabulous at a picnic with a little chill on it. Put it in the fridge and bring it out before you head to the park. Amazing with strawberries or spinach salad.

A Cellar 503 selection in July 2018, Summer Wines Willamette Valley | Gamay Noir, Pinot Noir

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