Wow, this is some really good stuff and is just starting to open up. No doubt this could use some more sideways time as it still seems a bit shy but it drinks great with a nice healthy decant.
2006 Littorai Pinot Noir Summa Vineyard- USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (12/26/2010)
Decanted for a little over three hours. Color was fairly light upon opening but picked up a bit of density with air. Nice clear light ruby color with a dark hued center. Wonderful spicy red fruited nose. Pomegranate, cranberry, maybe a bit of cherry all rolled in exotic spices. Underneath all of the primary fruit is some woody whole cluster aromas, a bit floral and perfume scented, light toasty oak, a bit of nutmeg and some cigar shavings. On the palate is a nice blend of sappy lip smacking red fruits, mostly cranberry and pomegranate. Palate is very broad and seems to glide wile coating all corners of my mouth. A bit darker on the back-end with some black raspberry and black cherry. Nice round and polished tannins with a really nice acidic backbone. More red floral notes, a bit of forest floor, pine resin and a touch of oak. Everything seems to be in balance here, listed abv at 13.7% and not detectable. Nice length, balance and seemingly weightless. Love this stuff, a great pinot with nice depth and concentration while remaining rather fresh. (93 pts.)
tyler - agreed. the summa is a bit costly, but the hirsch and theiroit are around 60, and thus on par with many other excellent cali pinots enjoyed by many on this board - rhys, rivers marie summa ov, arcadian, copain, etc.
Great note, Tyler. I need to try more of the Littorai single vineyard pinots, as I’ve only had small snapshot tastes at group events before. They always sound like delicious wines when I read the notes from tasters I trust. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I agree. Just not a price point that begs you to put your foot in the water. Good for the producer, though, that there’s the customer base to support a very intelligent winemaking philosophy and reward his approach.
I would love to continue to support this winery, but at this price point, I just can’t do it. A year or two ago, I had my “come to Jesus” that any winery charging $60+/bottle needs to hit it out of the park almost every time, or I have to cut them. With my Littorais, I’m going to say that while every bottle was “good”, only one in five bottles was a “grand slam”. At $25/bottle, this would be okay, but not at Littorai’s price point. Another observation I had was that their lower cuvees (the Sonoma Coast and the Les Larmes) performed at or near the single-vineyard offerings, at half the price.
With the sole exception of the Rhys Alpine Terrace ($69) you are comparing THE most expensive Rhys/RM/Copain wine with the least expensive Littorai SVD (Savoy $60). Also Rhys has always included shipping, and if i’m remembering correctly so did RM and Copain last year, at least for a case or more.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the style and still own more than 50 bottles. But I dropped off in the 2008 vintage due to price. I think Cary Wun said in the Ted Lemon thread, they are $10/bottle too high - I think it is closer to $15-20.
Thanks for the notes though and I am very much looking forward to drinking mine over the next several years. Thinking about starting in on the 2004’s soon.
All valid points on the pricing of the littorai wines. The $80 price tag for the summa is very high, especially when you look at Rivers Marie which is $45 and $60 for the OV ($2 per bottle to ship). While their SVD’s are expensive I still enjoy their appellation wines, even though they may be expensive when compared to other producers.
I also try and pick some up at retail for less than mailer cost whenever I can. It doesn’t happen often but its nice when you can find bottles like this 06 Summa for $45.
I’ve had two awesome btls of this wine that drank like 1er Cru Chambolle Musigny which usually sells for $125+. I have one left and trying to keep my hands off. I agree $80 is tough for anything but this wine lives up to that price point.