Littorai – Literally fine wines

Littorai is reknown for producing high-quality wines utilising organic and biodynamic approaches. The winemaker, Ted Lemon, trained with famous Burgundy houses DRC, Dujac and Roumier before returning to establish the winery in 1993. He takes a non-interventional approach, so there is cold-soaking and indigenous yeast fermentation. Some use of whole bunches during crush, and controlled use of new oak. Relatively small quantities of wine are produced, so there is high demand for these wines which cost a pretty deal too. I tried these wines at Prince Wine Store (South Melbourne). For me, the lovely fruit that stood out in the wines is the impressive character to note. Also, the tannins are not raw but fine, and exert sufficient presence to hold up the wines.

Littorai Thierot Chardonnay 2009, Sonoma Coast, CA, USA
$80-95. 200 dozen produced. Wow, a perfect neighbour to Kistler or Aubert, this has to be near the pinnacle of Sonoma Chardonnays (still throned by Peter Michael IMO). Clear, pale lemon colour, clean youthful and expressive aromas of lemon flower, grapefruit, raw crushed hazelnut and a pinch of minerality. What strikes me is the lively acidity, which boots the intense flavours of stone fruit sky-high. Great balance. Drink now – 2018. 95/100.

Littorai Las Larmes Pinot Noir 2010, Anderson Valley, CA, USA
$55-65. 480 dozen produced. I guess this is the entry level for Littorai based on the price. Mid ruby colour, youthful notes of cranberry, blackberry, black cherry and a dash of sweet spice. Dry, medium bodied wine with very forward fruity flavours. A nice balance of acidity before the tannins kick in for the end. Drink now. 90/100.

Littorai Cerise Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Anderson Valley, CA, USA
$85-100. See previous tasting note here.

Littorai Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Anderson Valley, CA, USA
$85-100. 584 dozen produced. Medium ruby colour. Youthful aromas of cherries, cranberry and a hint of mint? Dry, med-bodied kept together by fresh acidity, balancing the crispness of crunchy cherry, red currants and pomegranate. Fine tannins that hold off in the background. A robust finish that fades off nicely. Drink now – 2020. 92/100.

Littorai Mays Canyon Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Russian River Valley, Sonoma, CA, USA
$90-110. 171 dozen produced. Clear, medium ruby colour. Youthful aromas of dark cherry and red berries, with a sense of a heavier earthy element. Dry, medium+ bodied wine with clean fresh acidity. A nice layered sensation to the dark berry flavours accompanied by sweet spice. There was ~30% whole bunches used, and the tannin load seems to reflect this. But once the ripe tannins receed, the fruit kicks in again for the finish. Have this with deep-fried duck skin basted in hoisin sauce. Probably needs a few more years, drink 2015 – 2022. 92+/100.

Littorai Haven Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009, Sonoma, CA, USA
$100-120. 252 dozen produced. Clear, medium dark ruby. Clean, youthful aromas that suggest masculine refinement. Notes of black cherry, dark berry fruit, hint of extremely ripe strawberry, musky scented talc, warm black earth. Dry, med+ bodied wine with seamless acidity woven into the layers of pure dark and red berry fruit flavours. The firm tannins form a perfect balancing act, giving a plushness to the wine and they linger all the way through towards the end. A mind-clearing enjoyment to appreciate. Drink 2014 – 2025. 94/100.


About simplepalatesseriously

I am a neuroscience researcher in Melbourne, Australia with a keen interest in wines of the world.
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