Littorai is a family owned winery specialising in Californian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. They follow biodynamic viticulture and have a 30 acre farm in Sonoma that produces as much of the preps as they can. A years spent working in Burgundy with winemakers as Jacques Seysses, Aubert De Villaine and Jean Marie Roumier have shaped their winemaking style. The low-yielding grapes are treated with care to allow the terroir to show through and the wines to be finessed, long and balanced. They make 13 Cuvees of Pinot from Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley plus 5 cuvees of Chardonnay.
Savoy Vineyard, Anderson Valley AVA was planted in the early 1990s and lies north of the town of Philo. Littorai has been buying the fruit from here since 1995. This is the only valley floor vineyard that Littorai works with. It is the cooler end of Anderson Valley. The vineyard is protected on two sides, which means the site is warmer than one might expect. Dry grown and farmed with organic principles.
“The 2015 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard is one of the more aromatic, nuanced wines in this range. Sweet floral notes and red-fleshed fruit notes are some of the signatures. Like all of the 2015s Littorai Pinots, the Savoy has a good bit of tannin, but here the wine’s structure is decidedly on the medium-bodied side of things. The personality of this site is not as distorted in this vintage as some others are.” ANTONIO GALLONI
The 1976 ‘Judgement of Paris’ tasting thrust Californian wine into fame. The top wines are world class and priced accordingly. No doubt some of them are totally amazing wines with the ability to age. The styles tend to be fuller and more powerful than the old world, mostly due to the grapes basking (baking?) the the glorious Californian sunshine.
Not nearly as famous as its neighbour to the East but Sonoma has a casual elegance to the wines and with less hype comes more affordable wines. Sonoma is one of the largest wine grape producers in California. Sonoma is made up of 15 AVAs. Due its size, generalisations are near impossible but it does mean it can offer something for everyone vinously. The best wines of Sonoma easily rival the best of any in America. Best described as “the place where they make wine while the Napa makes money”.
This is the most elusive grape. It is relatively early ripening and extremely sensitive to terroir. Its perfect place on earth is the Cote d’Or in Burgundy. So haunting are great red Burgundy’s charms that growers everywhere try to emulate them. Pinot Noir is not just a one trick pony, it can make great reds, rosé, sparkling and even sweet wines, whites on occasion and I’ve tasted a decent fortified Pinot Noir too.