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Sipping Louis Martini Cabernets with Chef Jeffery Russell

There is nothing like a Cabernet Sauvignon paired with grilled steak or a perfectly cooked leg of lamb. One of California’s iconic names in Cabernet is Louis M. Martini Winery, which has produced world-class wines from exceptional vineyards in both Napa and Sonoma counties for over 85 years. Louis M. Martini Winery dates to 1933 and was one of the first wineries to open after Prohibition. The winery’s namesake, Louis M. Martini, was a founding member of the Napa Valley Vintners and a force behind the appellation’s pursuit of wine making excellence.

Monte Rosso Vineyards
Monte Rosso is a single vineyard owned by Louis Martini since 1938. The name “Monte Rosso” means “red mountain” and refers to the nutrient-rich red volcanic soil found in the vineyard.

Following a major restoration in 2018, the winery offers an expanded tasting room and visitors’ center focusing on culinary experiences overseen by Executive Chef Jeffery Russell. A native New Yorker from the Finger Lakes region, Russell studied at the Culinary Institute of America, and worked with the Chef Charlie Palmer in both his New York and California restaurants and at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs.

During a podcast recording with us, Chef Russell shared that working at Louis M. Martini Winery is like having a “culinary playground” to create one-of-a-kind tasting events, cooking classes, lunches and dinners. Tip: Join the wine club for special offers!

Louis M. Martini’s new visitors center offers special culinary experiences.

 

But one doesn’t need to fly to California to taste these wines. They are available nationwide through many retailers as well as direct through the winery.

We tasted two wines made by Louis M. Martini winemaker, Michael Eddy.

Louis M. Martini Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Napa Valley is the brand’s flagship. Grapes are sourced from three vineyards, Sun Lake, Cypress Ranch and Sage Canyon. This wine was aged 21 months in French and American oak barrels (30% new). It’s a full-bodied Cabernet flavors of black currant, dark plums, sage, tar, leather and cacao and muscular tannins envelope your mouth at first taste. Suggested retail: $40

Louis M. Martini Monte Rosso Vineyard 2015, Sonoma County is sourced from the Monte Rosso Vineyard  in the Mayacamas Mountains at about 1,300 feet altitude. This is a full-bodied with black cherry, cedar, toast and spice notes and silky tannins that characteristics of Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignons. The wine is aged for 28 months in 75 percent new French oak, the rest in new American oak. This is an outstanding wine made for long aging. SRP $100

Where to Purchase

Louis M. Martini wines are available nationwide at many beverage retailers. Here is a link to buy direct from the winery: www.louismartini.com  Shipping is included on 3 or more bottles.

Also available for delivery via Instacart, Vivino and Drizly.

Follow on Instagram @louismmartiniwinewinery

Louis M Martini Winery Executive Chef discusses pairing tips on The Connected Table SIPS.

In this edition of The Connected Table SIPS, Chef Jeffery Russell recommends pairings and explains the differences between the two styles of the two Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignons we tasted.  #listen iHeartRadio #share

Podcast link or click below to listen:

 

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Oceano Wines Continues to Make Waves Among Fans

Rachel Martin and husband, Kurt Deutsch, are founders/owners of Oceano Wines, single vineyard cru wines sourced from the Spanish Springs Vineyard in San Luis Obispo, California. Oceano’s second release Chardonnay 2017 has earned national awards and critical acclaim. In 2019 Oceano released its first Pinot Noir, vintage 2018, to rave reviews. We recently had the chance to sit down with Martin for a first taste and catch up.

Launching a wine brand takes marketing savvy. Martin earned her cred working with her family's Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg, Virginia.  While Oceano Wines is pure coastal California, Martin and Deutsch call New York City home base. He is a Grammy Award- winning and has worked on cast records for hit shows including The Band's Visit, The Book of Mormon, In the Heights, and Beautiful.

Martin is active in many causes to support women, including Les Dames d'Escoffier International.   Sixty percent of every dollar spent in the production of Oceano’s wines goes to women- and minority-owned businesses.

Marbue Marke
Winemaker Marbue Marke, Oceano Wines

Fun fact: Oceano's winemaker, Marbue Marke, grew up in Sierra Leone, Africa. Originally he planned to become a doctor enrolling at University of California-Davis, with an eye toward medical school after college. he ended up switching careers to study enology.

Why we love these wines:

These are wines with fruity -driven finesse and a clean finish. It's no surprise these wines are popular coast to coast in restaurants. The best way to order your bottles are at www.oceanowines.com

2018 Oceano Pinot Noir, Spanish Springs Vineyard CA - San Luis Obispo County  $45.00/750 ml

Bright ruby color. A layered nose of strawberry, red currant, cranberry, rose petal, fresh tobacco, beet, and vanilla. A red currant attack leads to a focused mouth of pomegranate, raspberry, cherry, rhubarb, and cedar. Silky smooth tannins give way to a bright strawberry finish that finishes long.

2018 Oceano Chardonnay, Spanish Springs Vineyard, CA - San Luis Obispo County $38.00 /750 ml

A bright nose of jasmine, key lime, white peach, honeydew melon, green mango, and peach blossom. A lemon attack leads to a juicy mouth of green apple, quince, nectarines, kiwi, and guava. Notes of kaffir lime highlight the long refreshing finish.

2017 Oceano Chardonnay, Spanish Springs Vineyard, CA - San Luis Obispo County $38.00 / 750 ml

Deep yellow color. Nose bursts with green melon, lemon curd, guava, sea salt, ocean breeze, white tea and honeysuckle. Crisp yet vibrant, lovely texture on a medium/full-bodied frame, but zesty and balanced. Lemon, green apple, melon, tangerine, topped in sea salt, hints of toasted bread, vanilla and ginger.

2019 Critics Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition Platinum Medal Winner
2019 San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge Platinum Medal Winner - Wine of the Year

Buy wines here: www.OceanoWines.com

Listen to our SIPS podcast with Rachel Martin:

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Sipping with Rachel Martin – Oceano Wines

Rachel Martin grew up working at her family’s Boxwood Estate Winery in Middleburg, Virginia, which we had the chance to visit in December 2018. Gorgeous place with beautiful Bordeaux-blend style wines. It is well worth a visit.

But it’s what Martin’s doing in San Luis Obispo, California, where she spent much of her childhood, that has been making some waves. With her husband, Kurt Deutsch, an award-winning record and theater producer, Martin launched Oceano Wines in 2016. Its first wine, Oceano Spanish Spring Chardonnay, has already become a hit! In April 2019, the Ocean Springs 2017 Spanish Springs Vineyard Chardonnay ($38) was named “Domestic Wine of the Year” at the 37th Annual San Diego International Wine & Spirits Challenge, and it earned a Gold Medal at the Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival International Wine Competition.

Rachel Martin, CoFounder, Oceano Wines

Martin, who earned a degree in viticulture and enology from Napa Valley College and  attended the University of Bordeaux School of Enology, says she set out to make her dream wine when conceiving Oceano- a mineral-driven 100% Chardonnay in the style of a Grand Cru white Burgundy. Oceano’s grapes are hand-harvested from Spanish Springs Vineyard, a SIP -certified vineyard on the slopes of Price Canyon on the southern edge of Edna Valley. Just about one-half mile from the Pacific Ocean, this area is blessed with the sea breezes, warm sunny days and cooler nights- ideal for ripening the grapes.

Oceano Chardonnay is fermented and aged in French oak, and the end result is soft golden wine filled with aromas of  citrus and spring flowers, and flavors of grapefruit and lemon, guava, cantaloupe, pear and vanilla with touch of toasted brioche.

Oceano will release a Pinot Noir this year.

In support of women
A member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Rachel is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and Women of the Vine & Spirits, Martin says her industry icon is vintner, Merry Edwards (who sold her company this year). Martin says, “Merry Edwards is my greatest icon among women in the wine industry. She earned her Masters Degree in Food Science with an emphasis in Enology from UC Davis in 1973. Of three women in her class, she was the only one who became a winemaker. She overcame gender discrimination while pursuing her career, rejecting positions as a laboratory technician, the traditional role of women in the wine industry at that time.”

To recognize women in the wine and spirits industry, we created a special themed series for The Connected Table SIPS called “Women Making History in Wine & Spirits.” Launched in March during International Women’s History Month, this series is ongoing and features women around the world, working in different aspects of the industry. A donation of each sponsored podcast will be made to Les Dames d’Escoffier (New York or International depending o the location of the guest). For information, contact Melanie- melanie@theconnectedtable.com.

Listen to our podcast with Rachel Martin on The Connected Table SIPS here: