Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Hudson Chardonnay at Oceana NYC

Hudson Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay at Oceana Restaurant in NYC

In New York with a few colleagues for team meetings and a conference, we dined at Oceana seafood restaurant just off Avenue of the America's opposite Rockefeller Center and Radio City Music Hall, not far from the Broadway theater district since 1992,

The highly acclaimed seafood restaurant is the flagship of the Livanos Family Restaurant Group. Founder John Livanos immigrated from Greece in 1957, began his career as a dishwasher, working for his uncle in Manhattan, purchased his first restaurant in 1960. Today, John and his children, Nick, Bill and Corina, own and manage several other well known restaurants, Oceana and Molyvos and Hudson West in New York City, as well as Moderne Barn in Armonk, NY, and City Limits in White Plains. 

Cooking alongside each other at Oceana since 2018, Michael Aungst and Tim Jocz share the role of Executive Chef. 

We all selected the same entree, the Seared Cod, romanesco with smoked leeks and bacon cream (shown right). As a starter, colleagues raved about the Seared Octopus tapenade with parsley root. 

From the winelist I selected a Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay from the famed Hudson Vineyards. 

Oceana has an extensive, deep 33 page wine list that offers 600 different selections from an inventory of over 15000 bottles with special strengths in California and French Burgundy.

The Wine Spectator awarded wine list has received their "Best of Award of Excellence: since 2012. Wine Enthusiast has named Oceana one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” from 2013-2015.

The Oceana wine list includes outstanding vintages of Bordeaux & Bourgogne, as well as a vast selection of Pinots and Cabernets from across the United States and the world. 

The world-class collection is displayed in the aptly named Wine Room, in a floor-to-ceiling glass cooler that can also provide a dramatic backdrop for private dining events for up to 18 guests.

Shown from the Oceana wine cellar glass wine wall are two of my bucket list absolute top wishlist wines, from the most select vintages, two of my favorite labels - #1 son's birthyear, 1982 Leoville Las Cases ($975), and, classic 2000 vintage Ducru-Beaucaillou ($550) - two of the highlight featured producers from our St Julien Bordeaux trip tours; and two legendary Mouton Rothschilds ($1200 & $1050). 

Needless to say, we selected a more modest, yet premium label Napa Carneros Chardonnay for our food wine pairing. Interesting and notably, they offered no less than three producers' labels sourced from the same vineyard, Kistler, Pahlmeyer, and our selection, the grower's proprietary label. 

Hudson Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay 2013 

Hudson Vineyards on the Hudson Ranch, produce premium grapes on two hundred acres of vineyards, in the Carneros District at the bottom of the mountain range that separates Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where they come together, along the northern side of Carneros Highway that connects Napa and Sonoma. See map of vast Hudson Ranch Vineyards

The vines, planted back as early as 1981, source grapes that today are sold to as many as 27 wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties, some of which produce vineyard designated wines from specific vineyard sites that bear the ‘Hudson Vineyards’ designation on their labels. 

Proprietor Lee Hudson from Houston, Texas, after getting a degree in Horticulture at the University of Arizona, worked with the esteemed Jacques Seysses of Domaine Dujac, in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy; learning that great grapes from hallowed vineyard sites produce truly world class, fine wines. Lee returned to the States to study viticulture and enology at University of California at Davis, where many of his classmates are now his clients. Lee searched for property from Santa Barbara to Mendocino, before deciding on the Carneros property in Napa Valley, founding Hudson Vineyards in 1981.

Beyond supplying premium grapes to dozens of other Napa and Sonoma producers, Hudson Vineyards also produce their own estate wines from their grapes, crafted by winemaker Clayton Kirchhoff, who joined Hudson as a young Winemaker with 12 years of winery experience. This label vintage release from 2013 was produced by then winemaker Christopher Vandendriessche in collaboration with the legendary consultant winemaker John Kongsgaard, who also sources grapes for his famous ultra-premium labels from Hudson Vineyards.

This release was awarded 94 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate and 90 points by Wine Spectator.

This was a perfect complement to our seafood entrees. 

Butter colored, medium bodied, clean, crisp, nicely balanced and elegant, soft peach and honeysuckle fruits with hints of spice, citrus and green apple on a pleasant finish. 

RM 93 points.