My flesh and blood
One of the things I usually only make for myself, in test quantities, without telling anyone. Kinda R&D pantry of mine, or a test kitchen like the one you'd find in the forward-thinking restaurants, with shelves full of weird mason jars. Magnum bottles, in my case.
Compared with the carb macerations, field blends and other whimsicalities you're used to seeing under my name, this wine is quite a tamed affair, almost old-school. Earthly Delights represents my obsession with the Neuburger grape. Back in 2016, we went through all our Neuburger vineyards, using only grapes from the oldest plants. No fooling around, no skin-contact, only a very classical approach - grapes crushed, macerated overnight with stalks and all, so that the enzymes can break the skins and pulp and you can press more easily (highly important in the case of this fleshy grape). Sedimentation, fermentation in acacia barrel, long ageing on lees. The goal of this experiment: a portrait of our Neuburger in its older years as this varietal, rather neutral in its youth, gets really interesting only a couple of years after harvest.
Hypothesis verified - the wine amuses me already and can go even further. There's only a little of it, it should have been MINE (as was also its working title), but in the end, I decided to share, because it's quite fun to show you the width of styles available here at "Chateau Nestarec".
As you've probably guessed, the label and name are based on Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych Garden of Earthly Delights - my all-time favourite. Every time I think I know it by heart, I go back to it and find something new. The fact that it's a triptych is also very important - every part is important in order to understand it as a whole. Which is quite symbolic as sometimes we get so focused on details that we fail to see the whole picture - in wine, in life.
We “found” it together with my long-term collaborator, graphic designer Soňa Valentová: The “delight” label has been quite a journey - we tried and abandoned many versions before we found the right one, including compelling designs fitter for another wine. Until Milan told me that this is the best of the best for him. A wine close to his heart that needs time and a curious, exploring mind in order to truly show. Heureka - this painting has it all. The joy, the unique esthetics, the authenticity, but also the evolution and the devotion needed. Just like this wine, the painting deserves your time. And, medieval painting is a thing close to my heart, so it all just came together.
So there you go - now the only piece missing in this triptych is you, a curious consumer who'll take this Neuburger close to her/his heart as well.
Files to download: