2012 Littorai "Hirsch Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1216112 94 points Vinous

 Intensely saline and energetic, the 2012 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard comes across as quite tannic and closed in on itself. Even with all of its structure, the Hirsch boasts translucent beauty in its aromatics and fruit, with hints of inner sweetness that emerge on the finish. This is a distinctly Nebbiolo-like Pinot that requires - no, demands - at least a few years in bottle. It will be interesting to see what time brings. (AG)  (1/2015)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (13.0% alcohol): Full, bright red. Huckleberry, spicy oak and a hint of white pepper on the nose, with intriguing soil tones and a sexy floral topnote; showed a wilder herbal component with air. Large-scaled and broad, but with no undue impression of weight to the classically dry flavors of berries, spices and flowers. Finishes with big, dusty, building tannins that should bite into fatty meats. Or, better yet, cellar this for a few years. Some of the low-alcohol boys of Sonoma and Anderson Valley should try to figure out how Ted Lemon is able achieve so much breadth, texture and depth of flavor at 13% alcohol. (ST)  (5/2014)

Jancis Robinson

 With fuller aromatics, less apparent fruit, and the most muscular presence of the Littorai Pinots, the Hirsch Vineyard carries notes of conifer forest and pine sap, a touch of citrus, and floral accents. The wine carries delicious palate tension, with lots of mouthwatering length, and chiselled tannin. 17.5/20 points (ECB)  (1/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Very taut and herbal, this is well-built and true to form, presenting a mix of loamy earth, dried berry, sage and underbrush flavors. Ends very dry and savory. (JL, Web-2015)

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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Price: $109.99
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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.

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.


- 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).