Named for a love of music and vinyl, college buddies Mike Roth and Craig Winchester quietly launched their collaborative side project in 2012. Both with pedigrees from notable wineries, the friends began with an impromptu surplus of fruit and the goal to make a lighter bodied, lower alcohol, more edacious wine for friends and family only. Six years later their wild idea to make affordable, approachable, and utterly delicious wines has drawn a dedicated following. Though they have branched out to wide range of grapes and provenances, their love of carbonic maceration and whole cluster fermentation remains steadfast.
Though Lo-Fi sources from various vineyards throughout the greater Santa Barbara area, they draw the majority of their fruit from the Coquelicot vines located just outside the Danish play village of Solvang. Temperatures can soar during the day, but the 15 mile proximity to the ocean ensures cool evenings; the vineyard has been CCOF certified organic since 2010. Roth recently made the jump to winegrower, having planted Cabernet Franc on his home property in Los Alamos, and also grown organically. Dubbed Clos Mullet (business in the front, party in the back), it is now a single-vineyard bottling for Lo-Fi.
Baked apples, poached quince, acacia honey, and a surprising and welcome absence of tropical fruit make for a delightfully aromatic Coquelicot Riesling 2016. Significant palate weight is immediately cleansed by a judicious lift of acidity. Perfectly ripe dark berries, rich black plums, and drippingly ripe strawberries are accompanied by a swath of spices in the Clos Mullet Cabernet Franc 2017 (Everyday wine). The veritable liquid spice cabinet that is the Coquelicot Malbec 2017 is an aromatic explosion abounding in white pepper, allspice, a litany of dried herbs.