2018 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

2018 Littorai Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

¥15,840 (incl. tax)

Excellent terroir is what makes the Charles Heintz Chardonnays so special and delicious. Just inside from the Sonoma coast, the vineyard sits at an elevation of 250 m on a rolling plateau that is cooled by ocean fogs and breezes but also warmed by air rising from the Santa Rosa Plain. The high elevation protects the vineyard from spring frosts; buds break early, resulting in a longer growing season that encourages ripening without accumulating sugar. Littorai has made wine from the same rows of vines since 1995, a Chardonnay that typically features aromas of pear blossom, honeysuckle and jasmine as well as good mid palate richness associated with significant acidity. Musing on the 2018, Ted Lemon noted “Floral tones as well as chamomile, fresh sage leaf, Meyer lemon, hard cheese and hints of pastry dough are all present in this very expressive and complex bouquet. The initial impression is one of richness followed by a real mouthwatering acidity drive on the finish. Gorgeous, impressive wine. This is full of promise and may be the most rewarding of the 2018s upon release.”


Winery Description

Ted Lemon is a winegrower, not a winemaker. Winegrowing implies that careful and conscientious farming is the primary step in crafting wines that express their terroir. Littorai was founded in 1993 after Ted and Heidi Lemon took an epic wine tasting tour from Walla Walla, Washington, to Santa Barbara in search of a spot that would yield great Pinot Noir. They became convinced that Northern California coast offered the best potential. Littorai’s wines have since become the benchmark for a new style of California Pinot Noir that strives to be a “wine of place.” These wines are lighter in color and alcohol and less extravagant and ripe, but strikingly fresh, pure, and vibrant – aromatic and flavorful without being weighty or opulent. Burgundy was an early influence on Lemon. He studied enology at the Université de Dijon, apprenticed at several Burgundy houses and was appointed head of Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault – all by the age of 25! But though Burgundy has been a model for Littorai, it was never a template. Instead, he lets the terroir of his vineyards suggest how best to cultivate them and craft their wines. These vineyards are located along the littoral, the coastal edge of California, on rugged hillsides in the Anderson Valley (Mendocino County) and along the Sonoma Coast. Here ocean fogs bless the vines with an extended growing season, but more importantly, the soils are so diverse (as a result of the area’s turbulent geology) that even nearby vineyards can produce wines of different aroma, flavor and ageability. Littorai focuses on single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also makes two appellation bottlings with those barrels or vineyard lots that do not meet the highest standards. Littorai owns just one estate vineyard (The Pivot, near Sebastopol), but sources the rest via “by the acre” contracts or long term leases that allow Lemon to plant and work the vineyards as he pleases, even if the yields are tiny. A firm believer in biodynamie, the estate operates an integrated farm, with vineyards, pastures, and woodland combined into one holistic unit, but even the non-estate vineyards are farmed organically without any fertilizers beyond vineyard compost. Winemaking involves fermenting the Pinot Noir with some amount of whole clusters in traditional open-top fermenters with natural yeasts and without (or with very little) sulphur or other additives. The wines age in (partially new) French oak for up to 16 months. If rich, mouth-coating, opulent black fruit is what you expect in a California Pinot Noir, Littorai’s wines may provoke a surprise. Prepare for floral and red fruit aromas, vibrant flavors, fresh acidity and a tannic structure that will allow the wines to develop and blossom over the years.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Sonoma Coast
Winery Littorai
Vintage 2018
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.0
Case Size 35.5 x 27.0 x 31.0
Alcohol 13.0%
Product Code LT18HC
MLF 100%

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

91 - 94 points – Antonio Galloni.

Expressive aromas offer fresh apple and lime zest with hints of floral notes and sage. The palate starts off rich and concentrated with more acidity emerging into a bright, mouthwatering finish. 



Made without any cultured yeasts or additives, the wine aged 11 months in French oak (25% new) with an additional 5 months in stainless steel to allow it to settle down. 

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