2012 PINOT GRIS, MARESH VINEYARD – 92 POINTS
Teutonic’s 2012 Pinot Gris Maresh Vineyard – from none other than Jim Maresh Sr.’s iconic vineyard on Worden Hill Rd. just west of Dundee, but a north-facing block (with 23 year old vines) that other vintners consider undesirable – is briny, saline and alkaline on the nose as well as its polished and buoyant palate. Strong, tangy fruit resembling pineapple close to the core, leads to a finish of positively vibratory intensity, exuberantly juicy and invigoratingly tinged with bittersweet lime zest. The sweetness here is perfectly judged to support the fruit without getting in the way, or indeed even being detectable as sweetness. At 12.25% alcohol, this still projects a lovely sense of levity. What a sensational value, and what a statement concerning what’s possible with Willamette Pinot Gris! How it will age is for now anybody’s guess, but I can’t imagine it thriving for fewer than 2-3 years. (It’s disconcerting to me that the 2011 – reviewed in Issue 202 – could have been so modest and this so memorably delicious, but I have had no way to go back and re-tasted that predecessor).
2012 WHITE BLEND FEINE MISCHUNG – 92 POINTS
Representing a blend of early Muscat, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Noir, Teutonic’s 11.1% alcohol 2012 Feine Mischung Laurel Vineyard is beautifully scented with orange blossom and rose petal, mint and celery seed. Soft and delicate in the mouth, its floral profusion billows across the palate backed by cucumber and lettuce-like juicy, crunchy pulp; but then, just when I anticipate the flavors dropping away precipitously, there comes a totally improbable burst of salinity and infectiously juicy, bright fruit acidity (from the Pinot, perhaps?) This amazing wine not to mention phenomenal value has to be tasted – indeed, has to be played around with at table – to be believed. I have no idea how it will age other than feeling confident it isn’t about to fade over the coming year.
2012 RIESLING, CROW VALLEY VINEYARD – 91 POINTS
Teutonic’s 8.8% alcohol (yes, you read that right!) 2012 Riesling Crow Valley Vineyard – from a site high at the edge of the Coast Range in the extreme South of the Willamette and from old vines of unknown clonal origin – projects lusciously sorbet-like apple, pear, white peach and lime, garlanded with honeysuckle, laced with mineral salts, and invigoratingly tinged with lime and pear pips as well as peach fuzz on a nearly weightless palate, finishing with mouthwatering persistence and impeccable balance. And apropos balance, here’s the amazing thing. Unlike virtually any other non-dry German Riesling I have tasted, wherein 20 grams of residual sugar would stick out as overtly sweet even if the acidity was sky-high and the pH under 3.0, here those 20 grams and that (on paper) wince-inducing pH collaborate just as they would in the best German examples, for supportive sweetness barely detectable as such. “This site is too cold to be economically viable if you are just getting two or three tons per acre,” notes Tuttle. But then, he needs high yields in order to finish up almost dry-tasting yet at less than 9% alcohol. I expect this outstanding value to be worth following through 2020 at the least, but really until a track record accumulates at this address nobody can do better than speculate about age-ability on the basis of sheer intuition.