The LIOCO 2020 Chardonnay is a go-to wine to always keep on hand. On the nose, notes of orange blossom, citrus, quartz and pomelo are popping out of the glass. On the palate, this wine is like biting into a fresh honey crisp apple, a taste of lemon curd, chervil and nectarine. This wine is free of new oak which makes this Chardonnay downright drinkable. Pair this wine with crab cakes, chicken confit, or fregola and clams.
LIOCO was conceived in the alley behind Spago Beverly Hills by wine director Kevin O’Connor and wine salesman Matt Licklider. The two colleagues, critical of the heavy-handed wines of the day, wondered if it were possible to make some local wines that favored nuance over sheer power. In 2005, relying on nothing more than their palates and their rolodexes, the two embarked on a winemaking odyssey. Europe was the inspiration, as were the more restrained California wines of the 1980’s.
Today the winery is owned and operated by the Licklider family. Husband/wife duo Matt and Sara Licklider and their small team produce the wines at a state-of-the-art winemaking cooperative in Santa Rosa. All of the fruit is purchased from exceptional vineyards spanning 200-miles and three counties (Santa Cruz, Sonoma, and Mendocino).
The focus is on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Carignan from sites with older vines, interesting soil, and heritage clones. Sometimes the hunt for Pinot Noir uncovers other treasures like a coastal Syrah vineyard or a rare, mid-century planting of Valdiguie. Room is made for such discoveries.
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Style: White, dry
Origin: Sonoma County, California, USA
Vinification: Organic and sustainable farming. Grapes are hand-harvested, destemmed and crushed, and fermentation in stainless steel tanks and large neutral oak casks on line lees with no bâtonnage for 6 months.
Aging: Aged in stainless steel and large neutral oak casks.
% ABV: 13.5%