A silky smooth, utterly mesmerising pinot noir

2012 Littorai, Sonoma Coast pinot noir, California (£36.99, www.thewinereserve.co.uk; £38.50, www.winedirect.co.uk; £37.40, www.farrvintners.com; £46.70, Hedonism Wines, 020-7290 7870).

The three website merchants would like to sell you a case of wine at the keen prices listed while Hedonism stocks this wine by the bottle at its Mayfair emporium. I expect there will be many more fine-wine merchants listing Ted Lemon’s Littorai wines in due course, because they are utterly mesmerising.

He studied winemaking in Dijon and then worked in Burgundy for a handful of great domaines in the 1980s. Ted then set up Littorai on the Sonoma Coast in 1992. He consults for a handful of starry chardonnay and pinot noir estates all over the world, too.

A highly sophisticated winemaker with innate taste and a deep understanding of both chardonnay and pinot, I met up with him recently to taste his epic new 2012 releases.

The B.A. Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay (£63.99), The Pivot pinot noir (£68.99), Hirsch Vineyard pinot noir (£68.99) and The Haven Vineyard pinot noir (£73.99) are the most restrained, impeccably balanced and stunningly beautiful wines I have tasted from California in a decade.

The Sonoma Coast pinot is his forward-drinking, silky smooth offering, and it will no doubt compel you to seek out the rest of the portfolio.

• Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (www.matthewjukes.com).

Merryn

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