LIOCO is the result of a years-long conversation between Matt Licklider (a seasoned wine import specialist) and Kevin O’Connor (former wine director at Spago-Beverly Hills) about whether California could produce a true “wine of origin.” Inspired by traditional European winegrowing practices, they sought out vineyard sites with tougher soil, older vines, and some stress-producing aspect (altitude, extreme temperature, poor soil, etc). Under winemaker Drew Huffine, the grapes are shepherded from bud to bottle in the least intrusive way possible producing some of the most focused, balanced Chardonnay and Pinot Noir coming from such storied vineyards as Hirsch, Demuth, and Hanzell.
A selection of complementary Sonoma County vineyards compose Lioco Sonoma County Chardonnay, with an emphasis on the Russian River Valley. While each site is distinct, they share a common commitment to sustainable horticulture and strident farming. The fruit was hand-harvested, destemmed, and the berries “broken” before being pressed to stainless steel tanks. Fermented on the fine lees, with no battonage for 8-months. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally and finished completely.
Aged in Neutral French oak and made in a more tame style, this is cerebral Chardonnay. No toast, no tropical fruit. Like biting into a freshly plucked Gala apple. Mouth filling but not over the top. So good!