Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their June 2018 edition review of California Pinot Noirs (see blue link below)
Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016 - June 2018 Decanter review
Husband and wife team Ted and Heidi Lemon are behind this family run winery, established in 1993. Ted began his career in Burgundy and has worked for some of the region's top estates including Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault where he was winemaker and vineyard manager, the first American to ever hold such a position in Burgundy! Heidi has similarly worked for some of California's top producers including Robert Long Vineyards and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Ted and Heidi's mission with Littorai was to find the best spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along the littoral (coastal) zones of the U.S.A. They searched the west coast before finally finding their top spot in the 'true' north of California - the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. All the vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2001 and there is minimal intervention in the winemaking.
The Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir comprises declassified fruit from Littorai’s vineyard designated wines and from additional Sonoma Coast vineyard sites. The wine is a blend of sites farmed conventionally, others farmed organically and others farmed using biodynamically. The cool climate in this beautiful part of California gives wines of superb elegance.
In 2016, California experienced very heavy rainfall in autumn. Although it partially relieved the extended drought of the region, it also caused some flood damage. Lower than normal temperatures in August allowed for a steady, gradual ripening, which produced wines with higher-than-average natural acidity and great balance.
The grapes were whole cluster fermented in traditional open-top fermenters with native yeasts, after which the wine underwent full malolactic fermentation. It was then aged in French oak barrels, 15% of which were new, for a period of ten months.
This Pinot Noir has a light body but great depth of flavour. With aromas of red and black fruits, and a touch of white pepper and chocolate. On the nose, the palate is balanced and fresh, with supple tannins and good acidity.