Littorai Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Situated above the fog line, we usually expect a powerful and structured wine from Hirsch. This is not the case with the 2010. Floral, meaty and bloody, like a battlefield from the middle ages, the wine is also dominated by beautiful spice tones with the fruit dimensions taking a back seat. It is a subtle, complete and playful wine. Some Hirsch vintages remind Ted of his days at Domaine Dujac. This is one.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Littorai's 2010 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard is remarkably weightless and gracious in this vintage, most likely because of the inclusion of 25% whole clusters. Dried cherries, tobacco, savory herbs, autumn leaves, licorice and herbs all take shape in the glass. The Hirsch is undeniably beautiful, but the stem component is not as seamlessly integrated as it is in the very best other wines in this range, which might be an issue for some palates more than others. There is no shortage of distinctiveness, though."
International Wine Cellar - "Medium red. Reduced aromas of raspberry, black tea and earth. Bigger and broader than the Cerise, showing more texture but less sweetness of fruit today. I would have picked this blind as Burgundy. Sappy, savory, soil-driven wine with a classically dry, lightly dusty finish."
Littorai Wines is a small, family owned and operated winery producing world class vineyard designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the true north coast of California: the coastal mountains of Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. Littorai Wines was founded in 1993 by Heidi and Ted Lemon. In July 2008, we completed construction of our winery located between Sebastopol and Freestone in western Sonoma County. View all Littorai Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.