Oceano "Spanish Springs Vineyard" Pinot Noir 2019
San Luis Obispo County
Pinot Noir loves the cold. The best examples of the grape worldwide inevitably have the cold in common: the foggier, the more windswept, the more marginal, the better. It's no surprise, then, to find some of the finest California Pinots adhering to the windy coast. From Monterey to Willamette Valley, the finest Pinot follows the fog.
And so welcome to the Spanish Springs Vineyard, a smattering of vines west of the Edna Valley, in San Luis Obispo County, a mere 1.5 miles from Pismo beach and the ocean – this is the closest vineyard to the ocean in the entire state!
We're extremely picky about our Pinot Noir and were blown away, as you will be too! Layer upon layer of expressive raspberry, rosewater, juicy cranberry, and violet pastille candies overtake the nose, and the palate is a cornucopia of spicy, crunchy, perfumed fruit and floral notes. Fine grained tannins that whisper, with long-finishing, precise fruit – there's no mistaking this for anything other than Pinot Noir, which is to say classically cool-climate, high-toned, and explosively aromatic.
Oceano is led by extraordinary talent; proprietress Rachel Martin founded the estate with a long history of stewardship and devotion to sustainable practices. In 2016, she brought on superstar Marbue Marke as consulting winemaker; his resume is among the most impressive you’ll find. In addition to Oceano he crafts high-profile Cabernet Sauvignon blends at Caldwell Vineyard and Marston Family Vineyard on Spring Mountain. His ability to craft intense, extracted mountain fruit Bordeaux blends and then seamlessly pivot to ultra-cool-climate, elegant Pinots at Spanish Springs Vineyard is a skill few vintners can boast.
As Marke says, “The cooler temperatures make for a slower ripening curve which aids in capturing ripe flavors without being overripe and losing freshness."
Look up the scores if it so pleases; previous vintages achieve the highest marks. Pop a bottle now or five years down the road – this is one of the finest Pinots you'll experience anywhere.