Osmote – Finger Lakes, New York State
Ben Riccardi founded osmote in 2014 and brings the sensibilities of a young gun who has worked in Sonoma, New Zealand and France along with Big Apple attitude from time honing his skills at Manhattan’s City Winery. Using fruit from both Seneca and Cayuga Lakes – there are 11 Lakes in total with four considered the best for winemaking and these two with their own AVAs – Ben makes low-intervention, wild-yeast wines that revel in freshness and lower alcohol. We love the lightness of touch he brings to his Chardonnays (both unoaked and with some large barrel influence) and Riesling. The hybrids that can often lead the region astray- along with being freezing in the winter there can be considerable pressure on vines during hot and humid summers – are focussed and original.
The De Chaunac is a French-American hybrid grape popular for wine making in the US Northeast and Canada. Crimson red hue and limpid. Aromas are full of violets, dark bramble fruits, plums, and a woodsy undertone. The palate of the wine is electric and refreshing and follows with dark, blue-fruited flavors. Tannins are light and not at all aggressive, leaving just a gentle dryness at the finish. Natural winemaking and Ben’s skillfull hand add a Brooklyn street-wise, low alcohol, chill-me-if-you-wanna vibe. The Seneca Lake Riesling is a limpid clear wine with a green glint. Beguiling aromas of stone fruit with creamy lees character plus slate minerality. Attack is bright and focused then midpalate creates depth while peach flavors develop. Finish is clean and dry. Hand harvested fruit very carefully selected during a rainy harvest season. Perfect fruit was whole cluster pressed in a horizontal bladder press. Some juice went straight from press to barrel to start natural fermentation while rest of juice sat in tank until signs of natural fermentation. No juice racking. Juice in tank was moved to barrel after signs of ferment, so all wine fermented in neutral 400 and 500L French oak barrels. Wine stayed on gross lees until 1 month before bottling. The Cayuga lake Chardonnay is rich and full-bodied with ripe orchard fruit. Elements of honey and custard with a succulence and brightness. Hand harvested, sorted, and whole cluster pressed. Long, slow natural fermentation in a stainless steel tank. Extended lees contact then filtered prior to bottling. The Seneca Lake Chardonnay is a fully developed wine with light golden hue. Aromas are complex with ripe orchard fruits and crème brulee notes. There is a clean and bright acid attack indicative of cool climate wine making, but the palate is also delightfully rounded and rich. Finish is long and structured. Hand harvested, sorted, and whole cluster pressed. Wine is un-inoculated and instead undergoes natural fermentation in 400 and 500L barrels, with some lees stirring. Aged on lees until first racking at 1 month before bottling.