LIOCO was born 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 1980s. LIOCO has quickly become of California's finest brands, producing balanced and food-friendly wines.
LIOCO has made waves across the wine industry in a relatively short time. Adored by all walks of the wine trade, the wines are continuously featured across the menus of America's finest Michelin-Starred restaurants. In 2017, they were featured in Wine & Spirits' annual rankings of the top 100 wineries in the world.
Today the winery is owned and operated by the Licklider family. Husband/wife duo Matt and Sara Licklider along with 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.
From a selection of premier Sonoma Coast vineyards including Teac Mor & Goldridge. Pinot Noir clones Pommard, 777 & Martini planted in gravelly loam soils known locally as Goldridge, in modest elevations of 200 feet. Defining features of this complex region include the omnipresent Pacific Ocean, its coastal forests & the fog-catching Laguna de Santa Rosa watershed.
Aging: 8 months in 15% new oak
Tasting notes: 100% Pinot Noir. On the nose, staunch aromas of Persian lime, cherry pit, Jolly Rancher lift out of the glass. The palate is filled with wild strawberry, Ruby grapefruit, and a touch of kiwi. The sharp and tart notes in the wine make our mouths water, calling for that next bite of food.