Teutonic Wine Company 2014 Bergspitze Pinot Noir
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
2014 Bergspitze Pinot Noir
Old & Cold, High & Dry, Wood & Wild. These are the words that Olga and Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic Wine Company live by. They source fruit from old vines in cold, high elevations wineries that are dry farmed. They use only neutral oak to age their wines and only wild yeast for fermentation. And everything is done in the Alsatian style – always!
Sourced from the mysterious Alsatian “Coury clone” smuggled to Oregon by Charles Coury in a suitcase in 1965, this Pinot Noir is grown on the top of Bald Peak in the Chehalem Mountains. (“Bergspitze” means “mountain top” in German.)
Despite their commitment to lighter style wines, this wine is still full of flavor and character. They let their grapes hang on the vines longer than most which allows the grapes to absorb the flavors of the land. It certainly has the characteristic cherry flavors of a typical Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, but its subtle taste of pine and dusty earth make it unique.