Lioco Winery Carignan Sativa, 2016, Mendocino
Who, what, where, and why does it matter?
Lioco is a winery founded about 15 years ago and now owned by Matt and Sara Licklider. The focus on the winery is to produce wines in a style that is more about nuance, finesse and flavor, rather than power and alcohol. Sourcing fruit from cooler, coastal regions in Santa Cruz, Sonoma and Mendocino, they are able to craft wines that are more in the pleasure than pain spectrum. This Carignan is a prime example of that.
Sourced from a vineyard planted just after WWII, and at elevation of about 2400+ feet, Carignan is not one of those grapes that immediately comes to mind when thinking California wine. Carignan is a grape that is most often seen in blends coming from northern and western Spain and southern France. A compliment to grapes like Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, it is often a powerful wine with deep color and flavor. Grown on a higher site (think cooler climate), such as the Pine Meadow AVA vineyard owned by Jim McCutchen, the fruit becomes elegant and berry focused, developing deep intensity, but not high sugars. The back label on the Lioco Carignan boasts tons of information, including the 22.6* Brix, which correlates to the 13.2% alcohol in the wine. Be careful, this wine is a pounder for sure.
Beautiful black raspberry fruit develop on the palate, with supple tannins, giving and immensely drinkable wine. Easy to have this wine with a steak or pizza, it will stack up to more sophisticated dishes as well due to the length of fruit and juicy acidity.
Found at retail for $28 (you may need two bottles)
Check out the winery website here
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With over 25 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.