The Wine Wire- 2010 Littorais:The Poverty Years

We get excited when we hear the new Littorai releases are going to be available and ready to taste. This esteemed Sonoma Coast Estate, headed by the venerable Ted Lemon, produces some of the best Pinot Noir in the United States.

Those of you that love Littorai and have purchased it in the past, be forewarned: there is precious little 2010 and 2011 to be had. Two sets of different challenges presented themselves respectively and the resulting wines, while wonderful, are in great scarcity. There is a poverty of wine to be had.

We asked about Chardonnay- there is none. There was even anxiety regarding the opening of the samples and not all the single vineyard designates were opened for evaluation. Even the fire-damamged 2008 vintage  produced more wine.

So here’s the skinny. We were lucky enough to snag a case of 2010 ‘Hirsch Vineyard’ Pinot Noir and that is all the Littorai we will see until 2012 is released. Hirsch Vineyard lies atop a great winding road, at the end of the earth at the apex of the true Sonoma Coast. In the shade, succulents carpet every inch of ground. It seems barren and inhospitable where the vineyards are planted but it is an incredible site and the wines that come from this property are tremendous.

Ted farms his plot to his specific biodynamic standards. Ted’s Hirsch is always a tender play between lace and power, the fruit is brooding and black in character. There is always a beautiful vein of fennel that runs throughout, a small reminder of vinous complexity.


2010 Littorai Pinot Noir ‘Hirsch’ Sonoma Coast, CA. $67.99/ Bottle.

Until it runs out.

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