`Wendling Vineyard` Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

Sonoma County

Littorai

Husband and wife team Ted and Heidi Lemon are behind this family run...

winery, established in 1993. Ted began his career in Burgundy and has worked for some of the region's top estates including Domaine Guy Roulot in Meursault where he was winemaker and vineyard manager, the first American to ever hold such a position in Burgundy! Heidi has similarly worked for some of California's top producers including Robert Long Vineyards and Stag's Leap Wine Cellars. Ted and Heidi's mission with Littorai was to find the best spot to grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along the littoral (coastal) zones of the U.S.A. They searched the west coast before finally finding their top spot in the 'true' north of California - the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. All the vineyards have been farmed biodynamically since 2001 and there is minimal intervention in the winemaking.

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Vineyards

The Wendling Vineyard is one of the most recent additions to Littorai's single vineyard collection. The Wendling Vineyard is located in the coolest part of the Anderson Valley and is actually the most north-westerly vineyard in the AVA and the closest to the coast. The Pinot Noir here is planted on very well-drained, red gravel soils, which limits vine vigour. The vineyard has been farmed biodynamically with extraordinary care from the very beginning. 2015 is the first year that the fruit from the Wendling Vineyard has been used in a single vineyard Pinot Noir.

Vintage Information

In common with much of Europe, the harvest started early in California – as early as July. Yields were almost universally down on 2014 due to spring rains and cool temperatures, which caused flowering issues and poor grape set. Luckily, the early harvest negated rain issues experienced towards the end of October. While 2015 was a challenging vintage, quality is considered high with fruit showing great aromatic potential and concentration.

Vinification

The Pinot Noir was harvested at night, to ensure that the fruit was fresh upon arrival the winery. This wine was made using 22% whole bunch fermentation in traditional open-top fermenters using native yeasts. Once malolactic fermentation was complete, the wine was aged in 20-25% new French oak barrels, with the wood coming from Meursault, for 14-17 months.

Tasting Notes

This wine boasts aromas fresh red cherries, blackberries and earth. The palate has chewy, mouth-coating tannins, which are in balanced with the bright acidity - a hallmark of this site. Concentrated flavours of rhubarb, blackberry and vibrant, freshly picked, red roses linger on the finish. This is an authoritative wine with enormous promise.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2015
Grape varieties 100% Pinot Noir
Region Sonoma County, California
Winemaker Ted Lemon
Alcohol (ABV) 13%