2011 Littorai "The Haven" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1167394 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2011 Pinot Noir The Haven Vineyard Estate brings together all of the best elements of the Littorai house style on the Sonoma Coast. The Haven surprises for its density and richness, both unusual for Sonoma Coast wines in this vintage. At the same time, this is far from an easygoing Pinot, as there is plenty of underlying structure. A blast of sweet dark fruit saturates the palate on the finish. This is another superb wine endowed with considerable potential. (AG)  (4/2013)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright dark red. Lovely spicy, high-toned aromas of fresh strawberry, candied red fruits and flowers. Then dense, tactile and sweet in the mouth yet light on its feet, with the red berry fruit nicely framed by bright acidity and complicated by a saline element. This brisk, spicy wine is attractive already but its suave tannins and long finish suggest that it will be even better with some time in bottle. Lemon picked these vines in two passes, the first on September 30 (i.e., before the rains) and the second on October 19 (with lower sugars and higher acidity).  (12/2013)

93 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir The Haven Vineyard Estate is the darkest and most brooding of these 2011s from Littorai. Black fruit, smoke, tar, licorice and menthol inform the powerful, massive finish. The 2011 is imposing and a bit reticent, but it is also full of intrigue as well as considerable potential. (AG)  (2/2014)

K&L Notes

Littorai derives their unique sustainable farming techniques from the fertile cross currents of permaculture, agro-ecology and the agricultural philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the father of biodynamic farming. In addition to using only natural materials, they avoid all fertilizers. Estate produced compost is their “fertilizer” of choice. For those sites which they do not farm themselves, they use by-the-acre contracts to insure maximum quality and vineyard control, and they strongly encourage all of their farmer-partners to use only organic materials. They do not employ farm certification systems, as they believe that the true motivation for engaging in sustainable farming practices should not be for marketing purposes, but should be only for the good of the land, for the good of those who work it and for the future generations to whom it truly belongs.

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Organic: