Wine Review – 2006 Littorai “Savoy Vineyard” Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley, California

Winery: Littorai WinesLittorai

Bottling: 2006 Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir

Region: California

Sub-Region: Anderson Valley, Mendocino County

Estimated Retail Price: $60

Purchase Details: Purchased at The Wine Stop Hawaii on the island of Oahu

Tasting Notes: This was an elegant, earthy wine with an old-world sensibility.  You don’t find a lot of pinot noirs from California, or wines from California that have an old-world character.  This Anderson Valley pinot noir had a lot more finesse than other pinot noirs from the same area that I’ve experienced.  Red cherries, light spice, dried herbs, hints of lavendar and a little dried forest floor were the main flavor components of this wine.  A subtle finish; a light-medium bodied mouth-feel, firm tannins and the potential to age.

Food Pairing & Context in Which to Enjoy: I think this would pair well with a variety of cuisines from classic French to modern California fusion (whatever the heck that is).

Winery & Other Background Information: This is truly a wine whose expression is consistent with the winery’s philosophy.  I’ve only known Littorai through their reputation as a producer of fine pinot noir and chardonnay from select sites in California, but after tasting their wines and then reading more about the winery and their winemaking, it all makes sense.

Owner/Winemaker Ted Lemon studied enology at the Universite de Bourgogne, then apprenticed at several esteemed Burgundy estates from Domaines Dujac and Bruno Clair to De Villaine and Roumier.  He then proceeded to become the first American to ever be hired as a winemaker and vineyard manager of a Burgundian estate, Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault.  Not a bad work history.  The winery started inn 1993 and since 2001 have been farming and making wine bio-dynamically.

The more I read about their philosophy and passion at Littorai, the more I get excited at the prospect of having their wines again.  You will pay the price though as many of their wines hover in the $60 and above range.  I did see however, a vin gris for around $20 and a couple of general appellation bottlings that run in the $40 range, so an introduction to their lineup is not quite out of the realm of possibility.

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