Weird Domestic Whites
Free tasting | Saturday, January 27, 2018 | 4-6PM
Weird Domestic White Wines
When I think of the West Coast winemaking scene, I picture connection and creativity. These oddballs and entrepreneurial winemakers aren't just in the same industry: they’re friends and conspirators in helping people appreciate the unique terroir of Oregon and California. Jack Roberts from Keep started off as an apprentice to Steve Matthiason of Tendu, and, in fact, the Keep Blanc and Tendu were both grown on Windmill Vineyard in Dunnigan Hills. Barnaby Tuttle of Teutonic and Kate and Tom of Divison are a part of Southeast Wine Collective, which celebrates natural winemaking in Portland. Come taste a line-up of wonderfully weird white wines we’re opening on Saturday, learn about the faces that make them, and experience the terroir they come from.
2016 Keep Blanc Blend – Dunnigan Hills, California $28
For those who buy wine by the label, any archaeology or Game of Thrones buff would gravitate towards this bottle. The ominous ruins are all that remains of Beverstone Castle, which was a stronghold in Gloucestershire, England. Appropriately, all that remains today is the tallest 'Keep,' which was the last line of defense during a siege and also where castles stored their most precious treasures....including their wine! The owners of Keep, Jack Roberts and Johanna Jensen, take their love of wine to the next level with their Picpoul Blanc and Grenache blend. Farmed organically in Windmill Vineyard in Yolo County, the blend has riveting notes of Japanese Pear, honeysuckle, and green apple. Check out Ellen Bhang’s article in The Boston Globe about Keep Blanc!
2015 Les Lunes Chardonnay, Manton Valley – Orinda, California, $33
The trio of owners of Les Lunes winery in California don't accomplish projects half-heartedly, which shows in their commitment to natural winemaking. They built their own cellar and use only organically certified products on the vines in relation to the lunar cycle. Friends Shaunt Oungolian, Sam Baron, and Diego Roig were ecstatic to discover 43-year-old Chardonnay vines in Dobson Vineyard which is at the base of Mount Lassen, an active volcano! The volcanic and gravelly loam soil gives this Chardonnay a fullness and slightly racy quality, alongside its citrus and almond macaroon notes.
2015 Tendu Vermentino, Dunnigan Hills – Dunnigan Hills, California, $25
Steve Matthiason and Jill Klein Matthiason are old pros at organic farming. Their Tendu series, always in distinctive glass liter bottles, is used as a chance to channel their playful side. Their white blend is a mixture of Vermentino and French Colombard with dashes of Cortese, Falanghina, and Coureiro. After being nurtured by pink gravelly alluvium soil it is fermented in neutral barrels and inoculated with yeasts from Champagne, France. The name Tendu is a ballet term and it means to 'stretch out tauntly' and aptly, as this blend is lean and flexible with notes of grapefruit and white flowers.
2016 Teutonic Foiled Cucumber – Willamette Valley, Oregon, $19
Barnaby Tuttle was a wine buyer at a restaurant in Portland, Oregon when a wine importer tasted him on 14 different Rieslings from Mosel, and the experience was life changing. Each Riesling was as unique as a single snowflake and Barnaby was determined to understand why; that night he told his wife, Olga, now his business partner, that they needed to learn how to produce wines that were that reflective of their terroir. To celebrate their love of the Mosel, Teutonic winery only uses grape varietals from the Mosel. This Gewürztraminer was grown in Wasson Vineyard in Willamette and is a refreshing, crisp wine with notes of ripe honeydew melon.
2016 Division 'L'Isle Verte' Chenin Blanc – Columbia Valley, Oregon, $26
Inspired by their winemaking apprenticeships across France, Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe created a winery in homage to their love of Portland and French wine. This Chenin Blanc is grown on Quartz and Lime Silica soil in Willard Vineyard in Columbia Valley and has notes of river stones, beeswax, and lime zest.