Country: USA Region: California Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Pinot noir Category: Red Wine
"Heidi and Ted Lemon are behind this family run winery which was created in 1993. Ted began his career in Burgundy after earning an oenology degree at the Université de Dijon in 1981. He has worked for some top Burgundian estates, such as Roumier, Bruno Clair and Domaine Dujac. Ted's skills earned him a position as winemaker and vineyard manager at Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault, being the first American ever to do so in Burgundy! Heidi's path to farming was inspired after living and working in Germany following college and her subsequent work at several wineries in California, including Robert Long Vineyards and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars.
In 1992, the Lemons set out to look for the best spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which they believe is along the littoral (coastal) zones of the continent. They finally found their spot in the 'true' north coast of California - the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. The varied soils and moderate climate with cooling fog provide the ideal environment to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The majority of the sites are now farmed biodynamically and all sites are farmed using only organic materials. Littorai does not use certification systems. The wines are elegant, showing finesse rather than being full-bodied and over-ripe as with some Californian Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. We have focused on their Sonoma Coast wines, as the cool climate in this beautiful part of California gives wines of superb elegance."
Product Allergens: Sulphites Label
Winemaker: Ted Lemon
Located in the coolest part of Anderson Valley, and, is really is not in the valley at all. It is the most northwesterly vineyard in the AVA and the closest to the coast. Littorai was offered the first choice of parcels on the property. We decided on a steeply sloped, dramatic block which faces due south. We chose the (over 14!) rootstock and clonal combinations for the Littorai section, with most of the bud wood coming from our own vineyards. The vineyard has been farmed biodynamically with extraordinary care from the very beginning. We have added the “Block E” designation to the label of this wine to highlight the exceptional quality of this special Littorai block.
Farmed using organic materials and biodynamic methods, not certified
The Pinot Noir was harvested at night, to ensure that the fruit was fresh upon arrival at the winery. This wine was made using 22% whole-bunch fermentation in traditional open-top fermenters using native yeasts. Once malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine was aged in 20-25% new French oak barrels, from a cooper in Meursault, for 14-17 months.
BARREL AGEING 16 months French Oak, 25% new
It was clear during the harvest period that this was going to be a great vintage. The combination of fruit health, plenty of time to pick each site at the perfect ripeness with no weather pressure, and the inherent quality of the vintage all conspired to produce an exceptional result. The 2018 wines have ample richness, which, depending on the individual vineyard, may, for the time being, be hiding behind the significant tannins and lovely acidities. Yet none of the wines are truly driven by tannin. The tannins themselves are fine and generous, so that one is never left with a drying impression on the palate. This is the “holy grail” combination, particularly for Pinot Noir. The 2018s will show very well young and should age effortlessly for many years
Aromatically very expressive and fresh: candied notes, blackberry and cherry, violets, licorice, a field of flowers. Subtle, gentle attack with lovely acidity and more silky, fine, integrated tannin than previous vintages of Wendling. Having said that, this is a structured wine with lots of focus which will require some time to integrate. Slow building to a chewy, long, harmonious finish with a hint of under ripe tones which adds freshness. If previous vintages of Wendling have been impressive, like the strong man on Venice Beach, this is more Brad Pitt in the movie Fight Club.
Food Suggestion: An outstanding match with roast game (grouse, pigeon, pheasant), duck in fruit sauces or soft, white, creamy cheeses.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:13.1%