A delicious Pinot Noir that sells for a song from one of our favorite new producers.
This is cool-climate California Pinot Noir at its very best, showing the restraint and elegance daily fog and Pacific Ocean breezes bring with no loss of ripe, generous, California fruit. There's plenty going on aromatically and on the palate - spiced raspberry and cherry, a touch of orange peel, a hint of cola. But mainly it just feels good in your mouth, with a rich, creamy, feel cleaned up by a burst of acidity and very fine tannins. Really delicious, and a bargain. A selection of premier Mendocino County vineyards were selected for this wine, with an emphasis on dry-farming, older vines, and sustainable viticulture.
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).
North is the new Pinot Noir from the Central Coast Rhone Master John Alban. Extremely limited.
Starting in 1985, John Alban planted grapes for other people until he bought an estate in 1989. With a focus on creating wines made from Rhône Valley varietals, Alban came to be a pioneer of the Rhone Rangers movement, and is considered one of the most influential American Rhone producers. Though the focus is on rhone varieties, the Alban pinot noir is a beautiful, fill flavored wine. The richness of the wine is emphsized, which is typical of Alban wines, and the pinot is beautifully balanced.
New Pinot label from Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne and partner Emeril Lagasse!
The 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, offering subtle fruit flavors, bright acidity and structure that sing in intricate harmony. Inviting aromas of firm blackberry, cedar and pitted cherry are accentuated with floral notes. The nuanced palate balances bright cherry, blackberry and pluot fruits with hints of savory fennel fronds and sea mist. This wine is medium-bodied and typical of Sonoma Coast with bright acidity, subtle fruit flavors and elegant structure. The winemaker is Shane Finley, formerly an assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne for many years.
AldenAlli is the culmination to two families’ expertise in combining superior food, wine, and hospitality to create a sense of place and tradition. The place is Sonoma Coast, above the western most part of the United States, pushing the limits of viticulture where land meets sea. The tradition is our love of Pinot Noir and the ongoing pursuit of the most elusive reward. The creation of AldenAlli wine began with the convergence of friendship, families, and culinary passions. Both the Kosta and Lagasse families have a long history with one another and with Pinot Noir. Dan Kosta was introduced to Burgundy wines at the young age of five, and an abundant array of Pinot Noir in the Lagasse restaurants has long been a favorite with diners. The nightly presence of Sonoma Pinot Noir at their family dinner tables has been a standing tradition for years. AldenAlli Pinot Noir tells the story of these two families’ talent for combining world class wine with great food.
96+ Points Parker
One of the best new Pinot Noir producers in California! The partners, who all previously worked at Williams Selyem, are deeply committed to crafting high quality, cool climate single vineyard Pinot Nor, Syrah and Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in Northern California. Limited.
96+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2018 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch is an incredibly expressive wine, with a savory blend of crushed cranberry and blackberry fruit accented by notes of fragrant earth, lavender, charcuterie, fir and Angostura bitters. The palate's full, expressive fruit character is supported by a silky, seamlessly fresh structure, and it finishes very long and layered."
94 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 Pinot Noir Campbell Ranch is a wine of real substance and depth. Sweet red cherry, spice, crushed flowers, mint and blood orange all run through this plaint, wonderfully expressive Pinot. The Campbell Ranch has quite a bit of depth, yet it very much remains within the understated style that is such a signature of the house style."
Located a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, this vineyard sits near the tiny town of Annapolis, and is farmed by Steve Campbell. At approximately 750 feet above sea level, it sits right at the boundary of the marine layer, ensuring that the cool, coastal climate delays ripening well beyond the warmer vineyards to the east. The two-decade-old vines grow on sandy, low-vigor Goldridge soil, which helps reduce yields to near two tons per acre.