Daily Wine 9/4/17:
LIOCO – Demuth Vineyard – Chardonnay – Anderson Valley – 2014
- This wine is 100% Chardonnay from the Demuth Vineyard of the Anderson Valley in Mendocino County of Northern California.
- The Demuth Vineyard is high in elevation at about 1600 feet and looks down over Anderson Valley. The vineyard is dry-farmed and soils are composed of a shallow layer of clay on top of fractured rock.
- Chris Demuth planted Chardonnay here over 35 years ago in the heart of Pinot country and the risk paid off.
- The wine is so unique for a California Chardonnay that some tasters claim a connection between Grosse Gewachs German Riesling.
- Vinification starts with berries that were broken before being pressed and then fermented in neutral oak casks with wild yeasts. A naturally occurring malolactic fermentation did occur.
- Maturation occurred on the lees for 12 months without battonage and then in stainless steel for three more months.
- LIOCO was conceived in the alley behind Spago by wine director Kevin O’Connor and wine salesman Matt Licklider. Their inspiration was to create wines in the restrained style of Europe or the wines of California in the 1980’s.
- Matt and Sara Licklider own the operation today and produce the wines out of Santa Rosa. All of the fruit is purchased from family-owned vineyards within 200-miles and three counties (Mendocino, Sonoma, and Santa Cruz).
- Their focus is on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Carignan from older vines, interesting soils, and heritage clones. Other wines are made, including an occasional Gruner Veltliner.
- Pair this with a bacon and onion tart.