2019 Littorai Chardonnay Mays Canyon Sonoma Coast
Region: Sonoma Coast
In 1992, the Lemons spent months traveling the vineyards of the west coast from Seattle to Santa Barbara looking for the best growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We concluded that the area which had the greatest unexplored potential for these two varieties was the true north coast of California, the coastal hills of Sonoma and Mendocino counties. As life long winemakers, Heidi and Ted Lemon brought their passion and professional knowledge but no significant financial resources. Hence, Littorai began only with purchased grapes, 150 cases of One Acre Anderson Valley Pinot Noir and 150 cases of Mays Canyon Sonoma Coast Chardonnay in 1993. We have grown slowly from there as we found vineyards of promise. Littorai was the first to vineyard designate Charles Heintz Chardonnay as well as Savoy, Roman, Cerise and Wendling Pinot Noirs and has the longest running contract with Hirsch Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast. In 2000, we began to purchase and lease properties in Anderson Valley and on the Sonoma Coast: B.A. Thieriot Vineyard, The Haven, The Pivot, One Acre and The Return. Today, our production is evenly split between estate and grower vineyards. In 2008, we completed construction of the winery at our Gold Ridge Estate.
Mays Canyon is home to the Porter Bass Estate. At 200-400 feet elevation, this site is somewhat unique as it is surrounded by the Russian River on three sides! Skirted by redwood trees, they help keep to form a protective barrier that warms the climate of the vineyard. The Hugo gravelly loam soils also help to capture and retain the heat of the day, offering the vines additional warmth as the fog begins to roll in. Re-planted in 1999, this site has been a vineyard since the leate 1800s!
2019 saw lower malic acid numbers than 2018 with final pHs ranging from low (Thieriot and The Tributary) to moderate (Charles Heintz and Mays Canyon), just like 2018. Cluster and berry size in 2019 varied from small to large depending on clone and site. Despite the very challenging weather in the spring, through careful vineyard work and the good fortune of little late season fog, botrytis, was not a great concern. We were able to sort out and remove any mildew affected clusters directly in the vineyard, a good indicator that the harvest was not compressed. Malolactic fermentations finished early in 2019, by mid-March for all lots
Aromatics of Granny Smith apple, Anjou pear, lemon curd, pastry dough, mandarin orange. Lovely generosity yielding to beautiful acidity. Lots of power on the finish. A little cellaring will vastly improve this classic version of Mays Canyon Chardonnay