- Oceano’s inaugural 2018 Pinot Noir is now available. Go to our online store for pricing options. In early October, we will be shipping to our wine club members for the first time. Club members get 10% and 20% discounts (depending on the quantity ordered) off the regular price.
- For those who prefer to shop at brick and mortar wine stores, Oceano is distributed in a number of states. Just click on the Wine Finder link to learn which stores, restaurants and wine bars carry Oceano.
- It was all in the timing for Fred Buenrostro and his family as they managed to secure a vineyard tour and tasting with Rachel in August. For those interested in benefiting from similar fortuitous timing, make sure you check out the Oceano bimonthly calendar. It provides details about when Rachel and the team will be in the vineyards and the cellar. Then do as Fred’s wife, Janie Buenrostro, did when she reached out to Rachel via Facebook. Or send an e-mail, and if she can accommodate a visit, you might be the next lucky taster.
- Oceano recently partnered with It’s Just Good Business, a volunteer-led organization that promotes discourse about the advantages of women securing equal rights and opportunities in the United States. Through November 5th, a portion of online purchases of Oceano’s wines will be directed toward supporting the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Please use the code “EQUALITY” when checking out.
Photo: Betzy Velasco ebvm.photo.nyc
The Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, located in Manhattan’s Far West Side, had long been a figurative graveyard (couldn’t resist!) for locals in search of a downtown wine and food vibe. That all started to change when Taboon opened and began serving up its take on the cuisines of the Middle East and Mediterranean in 2004. Five years later, Mandy Oser invested in the neighborhood by opening her acclaimed wine bar, Ardesia. In addition to Ardesia’s wine-friendly smallish-plate menu is a wine list (clever cocktails are also on offer) that focuses less on the prestige of place names and cult producers than on skillfully chosen options from the world’s most food-friendly vineyards. And she has priced those bottles to move, which makes it easy for her customers to take a chance on a lesser-known place or grape without blowing the budget.
Your list is broken down in a very consumer-friendly way. For example, your two categories of still whites are “Old World” and “New World.” How would you describe each category’s benchmark attributes?
"Of course there many exceptions to the rule, but I tend to think of Old World wines as being slightly more restrained and fresh, with maybe a little brighter acid, and New World wines having a bit more exuberance, richer in fruit profile. I like to seek out classic expressions from the Old World and juxtapose them with New World examples. I think that makes for an interesting conversation about how wines can evolve and how they differ from region to region."
Do you have any thoughts as to whether there is a trend in the New World to make Chardonnay perhaps more Old World in style? If so, what do you think is driving that trend? Consumer appetite? Winemakers leading the way? A combination?
"I definitely think there has been a swing away from very oak-driven, buttery Chardonnays, and I do think it’s a combination of consumer demand and winemakers who are interested in pushing the boundaries of how California Chardonnay can express itself. I think it's particularly exciting when you can introduce a wine like Oceano to guests and sort of upend their expectations."
What is it about Oceano Chardonnay that made it a fit for your list? And is there anything in particular on your menu that is a compelling match with it?
"I was very struck by the saline qualities in the wine and the crisp, precise focus. I just loved it immediately. To me, it definitely has a classic Old World tilt but with unmistakeable California sunshine. I think the Oceano sings with food. We’ve enjoyed it with our garlic shrimp skewers, and we also think it’s a fantastic partner for our cheese plates."
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE CELLAR
Once the grapes are picked, Oceano’s 2019 vintages of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir will be made at Coombsville’s Italics Winegrowers where winemaker Marbue Marke is now Director of Winegrowing. (Previously, Oceano was made at Napa’s Caldwell Vineyard.) This state-of-the-art facility includes next-generation features like an optical grape sorter and a dedicated cold room for white wine barrel fermentation. Our eight new oak barrels are just waiting for juice! Tastings of Oceano wines will be available by appointment.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE VINEYARD
At last visit a few weeks ago, it looked like the 809 clone was developmentally furthest along among the chardonnays. We may actually begin picking it right after Labor Day. Total chardonnay tonnage we should end up picking is about the same as in 2018. This year, we are expecting about four tons of the 809; and three tons apiece of Clones 17 and 96.
The Swan clone is the furthest along among the pinots. As mentioned in the last issue, yields are pretty low this year. We’re hoping for two tons each of Swan, 115, 667 and 777. There will probably be a bit less Pinot Noir produced than Chardonnay this vintage, which certainly validates pinot’s finicky reputation!
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