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`B.A. Thieriot Vineyard` Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

Sonoma County, California

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. The Lemons‘ 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 minmal intervention in the winemaking.

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Vineyards

The B.A. Thieriot Vineyard is located to the southwest of Occidental at 275 metres above sea level on a south facing slope. It is protected from the northwest winds and fog by a ridge to the north. Farmed biodynamically, the 18 year old vines are vertical trellised and the vineyard entirely dry farmed. Soils here are Gold Ridge loam.

Vintage information

Low April temperatures created a late and slow budbreak. Spring frosts were not a problem in 2012. In May the temperatures improved dramatically. Flowering began in early June and the spectacular weather continued through mid June promoting the most even vine growth in years. Both July and August were characterised by warm, even temperatures with moderate bouts of fog penetration and no deep or prolonged marine layers. Early September continued the pattern with moderate temperatures and no damaging heat spikes. Mornings were brilliantly clear and cold with only a few deep marine layers. Cluster and berry size continued to swell in most locations and harvest began on the 7th of September.

Vinification

The fruit was hand-harvested and whole cluster pressed on arrival at the winery with the heavy press juice separated out. The juice was then 90% barrel fermented in 25% new French oak barrels with the remaining 10% fermented in stainless steel tank. Full malolactic fermentation took place in barrel and the wine spent a number of months on its fine lees in stainless steel tanks before bottling.

Tasting Notes

Pale gold in the glass. Hazelnuts, candied pecans, baked apple, Christmas spices and floral notes give this wine an exotic aromatic profile. The palate is powerful and dense, with a fresh acidity and spices that linger on the finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Sonoma County, California
Winemaker Ted Lemon
Certification Biodynamic 
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%
Acidity 0.61g/l
Residual Sugar 0.2g/l