A delicious Pinot Noir from Lioco, 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).
New Pinot label from Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne and partner Emeril Lagasse! Limited.
93 Points Wine Spectator: "Rich and well-structured, with concentrated dark plum, cherry and raspberry flavors that are filled with plenty of Asian spice accents. Ends with notes of dark chocolate and cream on the mineral-filled finish, with peppery hints. Drink now through 2025."
93 Points Wine Enthusiast: "A partnership between the families of Dan Kosta and Emeril Lagasse, this red blends together grapes from Campbell Ranch, Sunchase Vineyard and Gap's Crown. With bright red fruit and buzzy baking spice, it retains a taste of red-apple skin, woody pine resin and brooding acidity."
The AldenAlli 2018 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.
A masterpiece of complexity, the Aldenalli Sonoma Coast Pinot is cut from Gap’s Crown, Sunchase, and Campbell Ranch Vineyards, skillfully marrying five Pinot Noir clones. Campbell provides elegance and bright acidity, complemented by the structure and spice characteristics of Gap’s Crown and Sunchase Vineyards in the Petaluma Wind Gap. Capturing the pure essence of this fruit, winemakers Shane Finley and Dan Kosta aged this wine for only ten months in barrel. The resulting wine is remarkably fresh with penetrating fruit and thought-provoking complexity that’s hard to find.
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.
94 Points Robert Parker: "Medium ruby-purple, the 2020 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is scented of pomegranate, blueberry, tea leaves, mushrooms and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate offers an intense core of perfumed berry fruit supported by grainy tannins and bright acidity, and it finishes long and sapid. Drink it now for its plush, alluring fruit."
previous vintage 96 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Another stellar wine in this range, the Anthill Farms Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is fabulous. In this vintage, the Comptche Ridge is a bit richer and deeper than it has been, while avoiding some of the austerity this wine can show. Beguiling in its aromatics and finely sculpted, the 2018 is marvelously complex. There is plenty of tannin, and the acids are bright (as they are for all these wines), but the 2018 is deep and so multi-faceted. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy taut, structured reds."
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.