2021 LITTORAI Pinot Noir The Pivot Vineyard

LITTORAI Pinot Noir The Pivot Vineyard

¥20,900 (incl. tax)

Located in the hills just outside of Sebastopol about 11 km from the coast, the Pivot is Littorai’s own estate vineyard and home to the winery. Five clones of Pinot Noir grow on the property, which is farmed sustainably using biodynamic methods. Planted in 2004, the vineyard is just entering a mature phase and gradually beginning to reveal its true personality. In recent vintages, the Pivot’s wines appear to be about a balance between generosity of fruit and flavor and structured elegance. Ted Lemon has described 2021 as a riper vintage, with Pinots that are highly concentrated and structured, but also riper, softer, slightly lower in acidity, and ready to drink in an earlier timeframe. Vinous described the wine as “ridiculously beautiful. Dark, ample and sweeping in its grandeur, the 2021 possesses off-the-charts intensity and tons of character. Inky dark fruit, lavender, spice, menthol, mocha and dried herbs saturate the palate. Rich and explosive to the core, the 2021 is tremendous.”


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 2021
Color Red
Varietal(s) Pinot Noir
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.0
Case Size 35.5 x 27.0 x 31.0
Alcohol 13.5%
Product Code LT21PVP

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

97 points – Vinous; 96 points – James Suckliing; 96 points – Wine Advocate; 95 points – James Dunnuck.

Dark ruby color. Intense aromas of pomegranate, raspberry, black tea, violets and lavender. The palate is full-bodied and rich, exploding with layers of dark and red fruit, and subtle minerality, dried herbs, and mocha lasting well into the finish.



Fermented on native yeasts with 41% whole clusters and aged in 25% new French oak for 16 months.

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