Three thoroughbred Pinot Noirs were just added to PLCB wine shops. All three are single-vineyard bottlings from Londer Vineyards: the Paraboll, Ferrington, and the Londer Estate vineyards.
Londer is a boutique winery in Anderson Valley that has built a sterling reputation since its first vintage in 2001. These excellent Pinot Noirs are underpriced by about half, which is even lower than wholesale! These are the best pricing for Londer’s wines I have ever seen.
The reason for the sale is a sad one: the owners, Larry and Shirlee Londer, just closed shop at the end of May.
Wineries in financial trouble often use the PLCB as a way to liquidate inventory. The PLCB pays pennies on the dollar for thousands of bottles, and the wineries get much-needed funds for payroll, taxes, and other bills. Seeing discounted wines in the PLCB system – especially in the guise of Chairman’s Selections – often means the winery in question is having some liquidity issues.
Operations can come to a full stop with a single crazy and demanding vintage, as was the case in 2001 in Anderson Valley. Like most of Mendocino, the wine region was dealt many difficulties. A wet spring was followed by a cool summer. Early rain in October was followed by sunshine and humidity. Rot and mildew came calling.
About ten years ago, Larry Londer had an interview with Wine Spectator. One of his quotes remains very apt: “It is great to be dumb, stupid, and naive about the enormous risks involved when you make this life change into the wine business.”
Make sure to pick up a few bottles, maybe even offer a toast to Larry and Shirlee. Their wines will be sorely missed.