The idea for Lioco began as a casual conversation between two friends: Matt Licklider, who was selling wine for North Berkeley Imports in Los Angeles and Kevin O’Connor, who was the Wine Director for Spago Beverly Hills. It was in the alley behind Spago one day in 2001 where the two were discussing the bevy of heavy-handed California wines on the market and wondered if there was a way to make them in the more restrained European style. The discussion continued over the ensuing years until 2005 when the two put together a plan to produce, “wines that favored nuance over power”. Their initial focus was on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with Burgundy as their model, and they knew they needed to work from the ground up, and that meant doing everything they could to get their hands on the best possible grapes. Engaging with trusted growers in Sonoma, Mendocino and Monterey Counties, they found the right fruit to embark on their “winemaking odyssey”—as Matt likes to say. While it may be a bit more commonplace today, at the time Lioco was one of the first producers to forgo barrel fermentations for stainless steel, and to embrace the concept of taking the winemaking out of wine so that the provenance of the grapes become the focal point.
Lioco wines have been a big hit from the very beginning, as much for their restraint and purity of fruit as for their reasonable price points. Matt set the tone for many who followed, and we are proud to feature his Indica Red Table Wine as part of our first Wine Club release of 2023. It's not every day we see a wine made of 100% Carignan, but leave it to Matt Licklider to do something cool and different with his 2020 Indica bottling; made from organic, heritage, dry-farmed, head-trained Mother Clone Carignan vines from a few historic Mendocino County ranches.
The fruit was hand-harvested and meticulously sorted. The must was fermented in a mix of open-top tanks and T-bins; once pressed, all the lots were aged separately in a mix of neutral oak barriques, puncheons, and stainless-steel tanks for 10 months prior to bottling.
Bright garnet with a magenta rim. Inviting scents of dark berries and fresh, sweet green herbs. The palate offers fresh olallieberry, black raspberry and ripe Bing cherry. The mouthfeel has a velvety quality with soft, stemmy tannins. The finish is long and graceful with beautiful fruit expression all the way through.