Teutonic Wine Company Review
Address: 3303 SE 20th Ave. Portland,Oregon 97202.
Phone Number: 503-235-5053
Tasting Hours: Mon-Thurs 12:00-9:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-10:00, Sun 1:00-7:00
Region: Willamette Valley AVA, Oregon
Reviewer: Rob Boss
Review Date: 5/25/2016
Reviewer: Rob Boss
(Photos by Jai Soots)
Although Burgundy might hail as the holy grail of Pinot Noir, there are other places in the Old World that have been producing wine from the grape for almost as long. And while the majority of Oregon wine producers emulate the Burgundian style, Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic Wine Company swings toward Alsace. As a result, Teutonics wine offers a unique and fascinating study of winemaking and all its passion.
Three things ring with amusement when visiting Teutonics Southeast Portland tasting room: One is that they answer the phone, Teutonic Wine Factory. The second is that they refer to the tasting room as the Teutonic Tavern, and, of course, the irreverence doesnt stop there. This sort of function follows form flair might be red flags for some establishments weve been to, but at Teutonic Wine Factory, nothing could be further from the truth.
Third, they play records in the tasting roomreal, honest to goodness LPs. Other tasting rooms do that, too, of course (like Vista Hills). But Teutonics music system has all the nostalgic flair of my favorite college dorm room memories. (You can read the details here). And they were playing Miles Davis. Talk about a deck stacked in their favor. Yet none of that matters unless the wine is good, which it is, and refreshingly different from everything else thats going on in the majority of Willamette Valley wineries.
Assistant winemaker Alex Neely pointed out that all of Teutonics whites have residual sugar; lush, ripe fruit flavors lead the way here. He started the flight with Teutonics 2015 White Wine, which has taken the name Pig & Swords from its label. The blend of Pinot Noir, Muller Thurgau, and Sylvaner greeted my nose with an orange blossom note, followed by lychee nuts, lemon zest and tangerine flavors. A tart acidity beckons for fresh, summer food.
Speaking of food: Wild Hunt food cart is parked right in front of the winery. What they call Viking soul food pairs well with Teutonics Alsatian-style wines, and suddenly the tasting room becomes a great dinner destination after the winery work is done (Wednesday through Saturday). For those who love Sunday Brunch (I love Sunday Brunch), Teutonic offers Seafood Sundays through the summer.
Most of Teutonics wines are single-vineyard and the 2014 Pinot Gris comes from one of my favorites, Maresh Vineyard in Dundee. The apple and pear notes on the nose were mouthwatering, followed by granny smith, star fruit, and green fruit flavors. The 2015 Rose hails from Laurel Vineyard, notably the highest vineyard elevation in the valley. The vines are an Alsatian Pinot Noir clonewhich begs more research on my part, having experience only with the likes of Dijon and Pommard clones in Oregon. The wines bright acidity and strawberry flavors will pair with any summer dish, from berry salads to grilled meats, but its also a lovely cocktail wine to share with friends.
Even more intriguing was the 2013 Alsea Vineyard Pinot Noir. Alsea is located on the far side of the coastal range. That makes it technically not Willamette Valley, and its completely different from anything else in the region. The pretty, light ruby color was enticing, and I found the dry, dusty fruit flavors fascinating.
That put the cap on a really great tasting. These guys hit all the right notes: a beautiful urban tasting room with a fun and energetic atmosphere, great wine and food, an interesting perspective of the wine worldwhile theyre playing records. Things could get better, just not in my world. When visiting Portland, Teutonic Wine Company should be at the top of your list. Count on a great time. Theyll make sure of it.