2019 Littorai Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir

2019 Littorai Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir

¥16,280 (incl. tax)

The Savoy Vineyard is located just north of Philo, in the upper reaches of Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, where the climate can remain cool and foggy much of the summer. But because the vineyard is on a valley floor, it is protected from winds, and the environment is rather less harsh than in other vineyards that hug the Pacific coast. The more benign conditions may be one reason why adjectives like “soft,” “feminine,” “delicate,” and “forward,” are often used to describe this wine. Savoy vineyard Pinots feature joyous raspberry, plums and cherry as well as earthy notes of fern, wet moss and minerals. Antonio Galloni described the 2019 as “a wine of remarkable precision…. all energy and verve. Mint, white pepper, alpine flowers and bright red fruit lend striking aromatic brilliance to this finely sculpted, translucent Pinot.” Try it with grilled salmon, seared tuna, or chicken, pork, and vegetarian dishes. 


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) Anderson Valley (Mendocino)
Winery Littorai
Vintage 2019
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 29.5
Case Size 35.0 x 27.0 x 30.5
Alcohol 12.8%
Product Code LT19SVP

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

96 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate; 95 points – James Suckling; 94 points – Vinous/Antonio Galloni.

Brilliant aromas of cherry, boysenberry, and pomegranate with hints of lilac, wild herbs and cedar forest. A crisp entry swells with layers of intense red berry flavors and earthy notes, finishing with a perfume of spice and flowers. Fine tannins and bright acidity suggest years of aging potential. 



Fermented with about 57% whole clusters, on native yeasts, in both stainless steel and wood. The wine aged for 16 months in French oak (25% new).

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