Teutonic Wine Company 2012 Traubenwerkzeug Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
So there is apparently a confession to be made. This bottle was purchased almost purely because SOMEONE loved the label so much that they just couldn’t pass it up. It’s in a weird gewurtztraminer bottle even though it’s a pinot noir, but even I will admit that the label is pretty stunning. It is a drawing the winemaker did when he was a child in response to the prompt to draw a picture that represents Thanksgiving. There are robots falling out of a floating cornucopia in a bolt of lightning next to a medieval looking castle with turrets like something off a Return to Forever album cover. Clearly this is our kind of guy, since we loooove THEHWAMBC Thanksgivings and we especially love robot Thanksgiving.
The wine has a light look to it, but a brownish color that you normally see in much older wine than a 2012. It looks a little rusty. Well fined and clean, no sediment. A strong foresty nose – forest floor, damp earth, decaying fur. A very volatized nose, roo – you can feel the alcohol hitting your nostrils. Some notes of cassis and rhubarb, an interesting blend of dark and red fruits in the nose. On the palate, the first thing you notice is the mouthfeel – it’s very opulent at room temperature. It was inadvertently stored in the white side of the wine fridge, so it started too cold, really. It was thin and sadder. It really benefits from exposure to air and being at the right temperature, as is true with most wines.
Finish of underripe strawberry and sour grape, like not the candy flavor, but the kind you hope you don’t bite into when you’re eating them raw. A little cinnamony warmth at the end with the nice tartness that fades to obscurity. The mouthfeel is really the highlight at room temp. We think the rating would go up if the price were reduced – at $32, this would be a great find. At $40, our desire to repurchase is slightly diminished. Overall one of the top wines we’ve tasted from Oregon, though. We might get it again if Colin were coming over, because he is a big fan of Oregon wine and it is sort of a special find, but not sure that at the price point we’d get it again for everyday.
The Hella 5 Star System
We have adopted the opinion that fine art, music, wine, cigars, and other comestibles are governed by a unifying principle, which is that the intention of the artist matters. Art can be judged by the patron only as it pertains to the emotive and inductive properties of that art. We think Winemakers and Torcedors are artists.
Here at Hella Wine, we cut our wine-rating teeth on the wildly popular wine app Vivino. Vivino has an integrated five-star system for rating wine, but no standardized rubric to go with it, so we had to define what the star ratings actually mean, and we did so in a very personal way. This system takes into account: price, aesthetics, situational variables, relationships, and any other completely biased information we can come up with. This makes our system predictably emotional, and ratings change from glass to glass, even possibly from the same bottle.
Without further ado, our 5 star rating system revealed
I wont drink/smoke this even if you buy it!
I would drink a glass of this or smoke 1 if you bought it, but I would not order this for myself.
I would buy a glass/one cigar and enjoy it.
I would buy a bottle/5pack of this and really enjoy it.
I'd buy a case/box of this because I just love it.
The Hella 50 to 100 System
We also will usually apply the commonly used 50-100 point scale to our ratings. This tasting format, familiar from the annals of the indelible Robert Parker and Wine Spectator Magazine, does not take price or my ability to afford the wine in question into account. The situation that the drink or cigar was tasted in does not matter. This scale only reflects the quality of the wine/cigar in relation to other wines/cigars we have tasted.
You may loosely infer from this rating:
96-100: A hella amazing wine/cigar of super bold complex character displaying the attributes we hella want to find in the best wines in the world. Wines like this are hella awesome.
90 - 95: An amazing wine/cigar with hella character. Wonderful stuff, we feel lucky to try these.
80 - 89: A hella good wine/cigar, no noticeable flaws but it's just good/okay.
70 - 79: Hella basic, not so memorable wine/cigar. It's good, but just missing that something that makes it hella good, or even special.
60 - 69: Something bad happened in this wine/cigars life. Maybe it got left in a car and cooked, or maybe it sucked to begin with. All we know is we hella don't really want to finish it. Sometimes you gotta take one for the team.
50 - 59: This wine/cigar hella sucks.