Non-alcoholic wine is a tricky beast, but we’ve been watching the category evolve and improve in recent years. Oceano’s latest holds a lot of promise: Not only is it vintage-dated, it’s a vineyard designate from the Spanish Springs Vineyard in central California near San Luis Obispo.
Process-wise things are similar to other NA wines: It’s a fully fermented and aged wine that has the alcohol removed via spinning cone technology, then “a portion of the flavor and aroma essence added back.” How successful is it here? Let’s find out.
The indistinct and light nose of the wine offers a mix of strawberry and Ocean Spray cranberry juice, with a slight edge of tomato leaf. It definitely doesn’t resemble pinot noir, but something closer to what I might describe as an unusual soup. Those tomato notes take hold on the palate, resembling Bloody Mary mix at times, though decidedly light on the spice. Time in glass helps the tart fruit to develop a bit more, but it never quite gets all the way there, the finish a blend of both savory and sharp that never comes across as particularly wine-like.
C- / $55 / oceanowines.com