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Winemaker & Winegrower Ted Lemon Celebrates 20 Years of Littorai, 30 Years of Winemaking

“We believe that the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are grown along the
true littoral zone of the continent, hence this is where we source our grapes.
Littorai searches to unearth the finest vineyards at the very boundary of
where grapes can be successfully ripened.”

Ted & Heidi Lemon, Mission Statement 1993

On March 3, 2014, a very special occasion was marked at Jardiniere Restaurant in San Francisco celebrating the 20 year anniversary of Littorai Wines and 30 years of winemaking for Ted Lemon. During this tasting, Ted shared 34 wines from not only 20 years of Littorai, but his journey as a winemaker over the last 30 years, beginning in Burgundy. Ted and Heidi opened a stunning lineup of wines from their personal cellar. This report will detail my impressions of that tasting.



Ted Lemon has received well-deserved high accolades for his winemaking prowess through the years and I have written extensively in his praise. The first winemaker interview I ever did for Grape Radio was at Ted’s farm in the Sebastopol Hills back in 2007: www.graperadio.com/archives/2007/07/30/. His unique story is reviewed here.

Born in Bedford, New York, Ted traces the origin of his interest in wine to a high school year in which he studied abroad in Burgundy. Later he attended Brown University where he majored in French literature. In his junior year of college, he spent six months at the Université de Dijon where he took a wine appreciation class from the director of Burgundy’s tourism office. The director was so impressed with the twenty-year-old Lemon, he offered him a job if he ever decided to take up winemaking.

After graduating from Brown University, Ted was awarded a Samuel T. Arnold Fellowship and returned to France in the fall of 1980 to study viticulture and enology. He obtained his Enology degree from the Université de Dijon in 1981 and worked at many prestigious estates in Burgundy including Domaine Georges Roumier, Domaine Bruno Clair, Domaine De Villaine, and Domaine Dujac. Ted returned to the United States when his funds ran out and apprenticed with Josh Jensen at Calera Wine Company in Hollister, California.

Late in 1982, while working at Calera, Ted was surprised by a call from Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, who asked him, “How would you like to make Meursault?” At Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault, one of the owners of one of the oldest and most traditional wineries in Burgundy, Guy Roulot, had died and his family was searching for another winemaker. Guy’s son, Jean-Marc had not chosen to follow in his father’s footsteps. The Roulot family had sought the advice of Jacques Seysses who was said to remark to Madame Roulot, “Of all the apprentices I’ve had, and I’ve had many, none has been as bright and capable as Ted Lemon. He has so many fine qualities, but there are two problems: he is twenty-five years old and he is American.” After consulting with Aubert de Villaine and others, Madame Roulot offered to make Ted the first American winemaker and vineyard manager at a major domaine in Burgundy’s history.

The photo below shows a young Lemon with Meursault vigneron Marcel Fichet at Domaine Guy Roulot where Ted remained until 1984.



Upon returning to the United States, Ted was hired by a French family that owned a vineyard on Howell Mountain above the Napa Valley. Ted became the founding vineyard manager and winemaker, and oversaw the building of a new winery. The owners of Chateau Woltner planned to produce a French-style Chardonnay and Ted’s wines quickly attracted the attention of American wine connoisseurs. The wines were made in a non-malolactic style and as a result were high in acidity. Unlike high acid Chardonnays of Chablis, for example, the Chateau Woltner Chardonnays never did shed their acidity with age. Examples of these wines were not included in the tasting but were available for those interested after the tasting.

With his winemaking and winegrowing skills assured, Ted and his spouse Heidi founded Littorai Wines in 1993. The name, Littorai (lit’tor-i) is a pleural derivative of the Latin word littor, which means the “coasts.” Ted and Heidi had spent a summer driving up and down the coasts of California and the Willamette Valley of Oregon to taste local wines and learn the terroir and history of neighborhood vineyards. He believed the finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were grown along the true littoral (coastal) zone of the continent, and became convinced that the geology and mesoclimates of the extreme portion of the continent north of San Francisco were diverse enough to create a series of unique terroirs. Ted settled on sourcing his grapes from vineyards in western Sonoma County and western Mendocino counties, finding those sites at the very boundary of where grapes could be successfully ripened.

Ted’s years in France inspired him to base his winemaking on terroir-based postulates that specify that wine of a single place produced by a single estate is the greatest expression of winemaking. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are wine grape varieties that are uniquely suited to this philosophy. According to Ted, “I believe soil is of major importance in a wine’s character. It’s clear there are tremendous differences between wines made from vineyards right next to each other even if they are vinified and treated exactly the same way.

Here is a partial tribute to Ted Lemon’s individuality and accomplishments:

* Ted was the first and only American to become the head winemaker at a distinguished Burgundy domaine.
* Ted is a life long winemaker who did not come into wine as a second career.
* Littorai was the first modern California winery to create a “by-the-acre” contract for grapes in which Ted personally and closely supervised all aspects of vineyard management including pruning, fertilizing, irrigation and crop yields. In these contracts, growers are paid for the quality of what they grow, not the quantity. The first contract was written in 1993 for the One Acre Vineyard in the Anderson Valley that was part of Rich Savoy’s Deer Meadow Ranch. This type of contract is now the norm for premium Pinot Noir growers in California and Oregon.
* Ted believes his job as a farmer is to make sure there is not wide diversity of ripeness in the vineyard. In other words, every attempt should be made to bring every block in the vineyard to the same ripeness at the same time. No second picks.
* Ted was one of the first winegrowers who believed in low yields, proper clones, vertical trellising, leaf removal, and other now commonly used viticultural practices as a map for world class wine production in California. He is a true winegrower in that he is intimately involved in the entire wine production process from planting and managing vines to corking and labeling bottles.
* Ted has had long-term commitments to great vineyard sites such as Cerise, Charles Heintz, Hirsch, Mays Canyon, Savoy, Summa, One Acre, and Thieriot vineyards. In the history of the winery, only two sites has been discontinued and they were absolved due to vineyard ownership change of Cerise and Summa vineyards. This is an exceptional record of terroir-based winemaking in California.
* All vineyard sites are farmed without synthetics using only organically certified materials but not certified. Also, all sites are farmed biodynamically using biodynamic methods but not certified biodynamic.
* Littorai was the first winery to vineyard designate Savoy Vineyard, Mays Canyon Vineyard and Charles Heintz Vineyard.
* Ted has developed estate vineyards include Pivot, The Haven and The Tributary.
* Ted has been a significant adviser to many wineries including Archery Summit, Keller Estate, and Burn Cottage (Central Otago, New Zealand). He has been a mentor to many winemakers including Scott Wright of Scott Paul Wines and Sam Tannahill of A to Z Wines and Archery Summit, both in Oregon, Jerome Chery of Saintsbury and currently Fog Crest, Andy Smith of DuMOL, and Trey Fletcher of Bien Nacido Vineyards. Doug Wisor, the head winemaker at Craggy Range, was one of Ted’s protégés before his untimely death.
* At the forefront of biodynamic farming in California. Ted has said, “Wine from a well-managed biodynamic vineyard expresses terroir like no other."
* Ted is not motivated by competition, ratings or trends, or by the lure of publicity. He does not submit samples for review and scoring, preferring to let his wines speak for themselves. That said, Littorai wines are poured at many wine events including World of Pinot Noir, Pinot on The River and West of West.

Ted’s winemaking approach emphasizes minimal intervention, gentle handling of fruit and wine, and long lees contact. Pumps and filtration are avoided. All Chardonnays are barrel fermented. Pinot Noir wines are all fermented in traditional open-top fermenters and at least some proportion of whole clusters are used, a key to their age ability. All wines undergo native yeast fermentation and complete malolactic fermentation, as long as nature does not dictate otherwise. Punch downs are done by hand. Usually one-third to one-half new French oak is used for aging the wines as an element of complexity. Elevage typically lasts 16-18 months. The goal is to avoid over ripe flavors and high alcohol levels, focusing on finesse, balance and length, and wines that can improve and blossom with cellaring. As Ted has remarked, “The key word here is patience; patient winemaking and patience from the consumer.” He is a patient winemaker who works with the juice at hand, an artist guided by his taste more than science, and one who avoids using new technology only for its own sake.



The old saw that California Pinot Noir can’t age has been put to rest years ago. This fallacy was propagated primarily because Americans have had little experience drinking aged California Pinot Noir. Current vintages of Pinot Noir are often intended to be consumed within a year or two of release and wine enthusiasts are encouraged to drink up before the next vintage arrives in the marketplace. Newly released Pinot Noir goes straight to restaurants where thirsty consumers quickly deplete them from wine lists. Have you seen any older vintages of American Pinot Noir on a restaurant wine list?

Because Ted’s wines are focused on balance and harmony, they have the potential to evolve over time in bottle. With polished balance and proportion, his wines gain complexity as they age and are uniquely suited to the dinner table at any stage of their evolution. This was born out by the tasting of older vintages recently and by my many years of experience drinking Ted’s wines back to the 1994 vintage from multiple vineyard sources. Reviews of older vintages can be located in the PinotFile Winery Directory under Littorai.

Littorai’s 10,000 case winery on Ted’s 30-acre biodynamic farm property in Sebastopol was completed in time for the 2008 harvest. The winery is a straw bale building built on two levels tucked into the side of a hill. The facility is designed for solar power (part of phase two construction) and to maximize energy efficiency. Winery water is reclaimed through an innovative constructed wetlands treatment system that allows water to be reused for vineyard and farm irrigation. Underground caves for barrel storage connected to the winery are also planned as part of phase two construction. The winery is a simple design yet functional, with no signage. Ted says, “This is not an indulgence.” Tastings by appointment are carried out informally on a table in the winery which has a noticeable absence of wine related schwag and paraphernalia for sale.

I had no idea Ted had been crafting Rousanne, Barbara, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for Reverie Winery since at least 1995 and and had made Cabernet Sauvignon for Howell Mountain Winery in the late 1990s. Until his own winery was completed in 2008, Ted had vinified his own Littorai wines as well on Howell Mountain at Black-Sears Winery.

Ted’s introductory remarks to the tasting included the statement, “Age doesn’t matter; it’s whether the wine tastes good.” The blind tasting confirmed this, with most wines showing complexity, nuance and interest, and some remarkable longevity. By most tasters comments, it was clear that the wines tasted good.



The Tasting, March 3, 2014

Upon Arrival

2012 Littorai Wines Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

2010 Burn Cottage Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir Aromas of black cherry, exotic spices and forest floor. Darker stone and berry fruits are supported by firm, ripe tannins and bright acidity. Long, satisfying finish.



Flight One: Mixed Whites and Blacks

2012 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Rousanne Pale yellow and clear in the glass. Aromas of lemon, straw and wet stones. Delicate flavors of citrus, lemon-lime and slate with integrated acidity.

2010 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Rousanne Moderate yellow color and clear in the glass. Richer than the 2012 vintage on the palate with bright flavors of lemon, brioche, vanilla. Refreshing acidity.

2004 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Barbera Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aged bouquet with a hint of volatile acidity. Interesting and nuanced on the palate with flavors of dark stone fruits, dried cherry, green tea, and root vegetables wrapped in soft tannins.

1997 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Barbera Slight bricking at rim. Aged bouquet with a faint black cherry aroma and a slight medicinal note. Delicate, crisp flavors of cherry skin, ripe plum, tobacco and licorice. Modest tannic backbone, bright acidity and a long finish.

2002 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Franc Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of peat, oak and black raspberry. Middleweight flavors of black fruits with mild fine-grain tannins. A beautifully aged seamless wine that is still alive and highly pleasurable.

2001 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Franc Moderately dark purple color in the glass. Aromas of blackberry jam with a hint of black olive. Full-bodied with substantial tannins supporting an array of tasteful black fruits.

1998 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Franc Dark purple color in the glass. Dried herbs and cigar are prominent on the nose. Quite herbal on the palate but very soft and pleasurable featuring blackberry and black plum fruits. An impressive aged wine.



Flight Two: Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 Howell Mt. Vineyards Howell Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon Dark purple color in the glass with slight bricking of the rim. Aromas of leaf, cigar, and crème de cassis. Luscious and juicy on the palate featuring bold yet refined flavors of black currant and black plum. Enjoyable harmony, yet finishes with a touch of heat.

1997 Howell Mt. Vineyards Howell Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon Dark mahogany color in the glass with slight browning of the rim. The nose lacks any recognizable fruit, showing only a bouquet of herbs and leaf. Retains more dark fruit on the palate accented with tobacco and herbal notes. Substantial fruit with gentle tannins.

2009 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon Very dark purple color in the glass. Gorgeous nose featuring vibrant aromas of blackberry, black plum, crème de cassis and spice. Intense, vivid and fresh with perfectly ripened boysenberry and blackberry fruits complimented by integrated tannins. The finish is generous and lengthy. Wow!

2005 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon Deep, dark reddish purple color in the glass. Some primary black fruit aromas combined with secondary scents of leather and herbs. Soft and fresh in the mouth with plenty of black cherry and blackberry flavor supported by sinewy tannins. Quite good.

1995 Reverie Estate Bottled Diamond Mt. Cabernet Sauvignon Dark brown color in the glass with a yellowing rim. This wine has very little fruit left, offering instead an array of mature aromas and flavors including dried herbs, brown spice, leather, green pepper and cigar box.



Flight Three: Whites

2003 Littorai Wines Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Light golden yellow color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of browned biscuit, lemon and herbs. Good fullness on the palate with delicious flavors of lemon curd, caramel, brioche and brown spice, carrying over to a surprisingly long finish. Terrific.

2002 Littorai Wines Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Light golden yellow color in the glass. The core of citrus fruit has faded on the nose. Mature flavors of burnt caramel, creme brulee, and spice.

2000 Littorai Wines Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Chardonnay Moderate golden yellow color in the glass. The nose is dominated by aromas of apple core, sulphur and chemical tones. Much better on the palate with mineral-driven flavors of baked apple, lemon and brown spices.

1999 Littorai Wines Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Light golden yellow color in the glass. Bouquet of pear and truffle. Demure flavors of grilled, smoky citrus fruits with a slight nutty, honeyed tone. Admirable balance.

1995 Littorai Wines Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Chardonnay Steely aromas of lemon-lime. Relatively rich flavors of lemon curd on toast, finishing with citrus-driven acidity. Quite enjoyable.

1995 Littorai Wines Occidental Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Steely aromas of lemon zest which are somewhat vibrant. Enjoyable flavors of lemon, pineapple, toast and brioche with integrated acidity. Still has life.

1983 Domaine Guy Roulot Meursault Charmes Moderately dark golden yellow color in the glass. Incredibly young for a 30 year-old wine. Shy aromas of slate, lemon and a hint of vanilla. Good fullness and richness on the palate with flavors of yellow peach and lemon tart, finishing with some persistence.

1983 Domaine Guy Roulot Meursault Perrieres Very similar to the Charmes but more austere fruit, more steely acidity, and more bite.



Flight Four: Pinot Noir

2006 Littorai Wines Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Moderately light garnet color in the glass with a slight bricking of the rim. Crazy good nose with bright spiced cherry aroma. Soft and seamless on the palate with fresh cherry and baking spice flavors framed by gossamer tannins. Exceptional.

2005 Littorai Wines The Haven Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot NoirModerately light orangish purple color in the glass. Aromas of cherries and cocoa lead to a delicately flavored wine that is rather dilute on the mid palate and finish. A very feminine wine that seems to be fading.

2004 Littorai Wines Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. A very generous wine with bright aromas of black cherries and brown sugar. Deep, dark cherry and black raspberry core with exceptionally high acidity. A masculine wine with appeal.



2003 Littorai Wines Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Moderate reddish purple color in the glass with slight bricking of the rim. A more mature wine with aromas of dried cherry and chocolate and flavors of cherry skin, dried berries, and tea. Very smooth on the palate with soft, dry tannins.

2002 Littorai Wines One Acre Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Light reddish purple color in the glass with slight bricking of the rim. Very charming nose of cherry, spice and cinnamon toast. Elegant but flavorful with pleasing flavors of cranberry, red cherry, rhubarb and anise. Very soft tannins. Exceptional for a 12-year-old wine.

2002 Littorai Wines Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass with slight orange bricking of the rim. The nose lacks primary fruit aromas and smells more of old book and medicine cabinet. The light red fruits are dominated by soft tannins that take over the finish. More interesting on a second pace but I needed more time to fully evaluate.



Flight Five: Pinot Noir

2000 Littorai Wines Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass with an orange rim. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dried cherry, tea and toast. Delicate flavors of cranberry, cherry and orange with gossamer tannins. A great aged wine. One barrel produced.

1999 Littorai Wines Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Magnum Peachy red color and slightly cloudy in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of dried cherry and cranberry with a hint of oak. Yummy, delicate flavors of cherry and cranberry with bright acidity in the background and no detectable tannins. Delightful aged wine.

1997 Littorai Wines Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Orange red color in the glass. Shy nose with very little fruit. Soft and refined on the palate, with flavors of cooked cherry, orange peel, and cocoa. Retains some firm tannin.

1994 Littorai One Acre Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Magnum Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass with an orange rim. Lovely, demure aromas of spiced cherry. Very smooth in the mouth with melted tannins and delicate flavors of cherry, baking spice and brewed tea. Wow!

1994 Archery Summit Red Hills Vineyard Willamette Valley Pinot Noir Light reddish purple color in the glass. Appealing aromas of maraschino cherry and spice. Very light and feminine but retains some structure behind the elegant cherry core. A bit of alcohol peaks out on the finish. Vinified at Pine Ridge Winery in California.

1980 Domaine Dujac Clos Saint Denis Magnum 100% whole cluster. Brown red color in the glass with a yellow rim. Interesting nose with secondary bouquet of molasses, cherry reduction sauce and leather. On the down slope with fading red stone fruits, yet retaining a notable tannic backbone.



Other Wines Tasted at the End

2003 Littorai Wines Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay A remarkable wine that has a woody, straw, vinous, aged character that astounds. Similar to a Meursault.

2004 Littorai Wines Summa Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir Still fresh and lively with a full-bodied compliment of sappy, dark red fruits underlain with a savory mushroom, redwood forest riff. Full of life.



Additional Aged Littorai Wines Tasted Recently

The 2003 vintage was very generous and the wines had the most fruit remaining. The 2004 vintage was more defined by acidity. I do not feel anything is to be gained by aging the wines much longer, but none of the wines tasted were on the downslope.

2003 Littorai Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.8% alc.. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Enticing aromas of pear, honey, bees wax and sawdust lead to a slightly creamy palate featuring flavors of poached pear, golden apple, lemon curd, burnt caramel and roasted nuts. Some finishing power and impeccable balance. Score: 91

2003 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.4% alc.. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Aged aromas of stainless steel and toasted brioche. Less vibrant and fruity with more oak sheen. Flavors of pear grilled peach, vanilla cream and toasty oak. Slightly creamy, with a bit of heat on the finish. Score: 89

2004 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc.. · Moderately dark golden yellow color with a very slight orange cast in the glass. The aromas of honey, caramel, leather shoe and floral perfume were quite inviting. Complex flavor profile featuring pear, yellow peach, apricot, lemon pie and roasted nuts. Still plenty of fruit at play with vibrant acidity on a refreshing finish. Score: 93



2004 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc.. · Strong aroma of burnt match (sulfur) upon opening that improves with air. Shy notes of lemon and hazelnut. More enjoyable on the palate with flavors of lemon and toasty oak, finishing with a vibrant lemon flourish and good acidity. Score: 88

2005 Littorai Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Chardonnay

13.9% alc.. · Lightest golden yellow color in the glass of the wines tasted here. Aromas of yellow peach and vanilla wafer. Pleasing flavors of lemon, yellow peach and almond. Soft in the mouth with bright backing acidity and a shallow finish. Score: 89

2001 Littorai Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc.. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass with slight yellowing of the rim. Complex nose with scents of marzipan, black licorice, brown butter and caramel. Mid to full bodied flavors of black cherry, sassafras, brown spices and dark chocolate. A beautifully aged Pinot Noir with fully integrated tannins. A touch of heat shows up on the finish. Score: 90

2003 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. The nose opens beautifully over time in the glass revealing aromas of wild berry jam, strawberry, rose hips tea, leather, earth and slight oak. Still fresh, with deep berry and black cherry flavor. The fruit is on the riper side with noticeable length and persistence. The suede-like tannins make for enjoyable drinking. Remarkable vitality for an 11-year-old California AVA Pinot Noir. Score: 89

2003 Littorai Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc.. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Secondary aromas of black licorice, black tea leaves, menthol and vanilla. Rustic, with slightly roasted fruit flavors of black cherry, black plum and blackberry. Full-bodied with muscular tannins and a big, fruity finish. A bad boy that is not a typical Littorai wine in this vintage. Score: 86

2003 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc.. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of beet root, sassafras, hazelnut, vanilla and a bit of funk. Well-endowed with luscious dark berry fruit, with added flavors of prune, mushroom and truffle. Has the firm tannins to support the big fruit, but lacks vitality. Score: 88

2004 Littorai Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of dark red cherry and blackberry jam. More austere than the 2003 version, with more savory notes of mushroom, herbs and old wood complimenting the cherry fruit core. Bright and lively with some finishing interest. Score: 89

2004 Littorai Mays Canyon Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Interesting aromas of herb-kissed black cherries and eucalyptus. The luscious dark cherry core is alive and flavorful. Still sporting some firm, non-astringent tannins balanced with bright acidity. Quite enjoyable with the black cherry fruit returning in waves on the persistent finish. Score: 91

2004 Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of fresh black raspberry preserves and a hint of spice. Delicious, mid weight flavors of black raspberry, black cherry and cola which attack the mid palate with a vengeance, coating the mouth, and finishing with amazing juiciness, length and intensity. Great now, but would have been an exceptional wine in its prime a few years ago. This was a better bottle than tasted at the Littorai Tasting on March 3, 2014. Score: 94

2004 Littorai The Haven Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of black fruits, mocha java and toasty oak. Flavors of blackberry, black currant, anise and seasoned oak are backed by firm tannins which lend a bit of astringency to the finish. A little too much oak and tannin at play. Score: 89

2004 Littorai Thieriot Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.. · Medium reddish purple hue in the glass. The nose starts out smoky, becoming less so over time with appealing ancillary aromas of black cherry, black tea and dried herbs. Mid weight core of black cherry and blueberry fruits with an undertone of smoke, mushroom and oak. Seamless and charming, with suede tannins and a long, dry finish. More contribution from oak in this wine but in a good way. Score: 91

2004 Littorai Cerise Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc.. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasing aromas of blackberry, black cherry and sage. Middleweight flavors of dark cherries and berries with a touch of smoke, tar and black licorice. Silky, with fully integrated tannins and a very generous deep berry finish. Score: 92



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