Milan Nestarec - Forks & Knives Rosé - 2019
Taking pleasure seriously here
I’ve been wanting to make rosé for ages and have experimented a lot, but it was never good enough to share with the world. Until this one, back in 2018.
I bought one of the rare plots of Cab Franc in the country (the Sahary vineyard, to be precise) and had some carbonic fun with it. The 2018, its first vintage, initially gave me a headache with its super slow fermentation, but the ugly duckling turned out to be a beautiful swan. Some Zweigelt and Regent in there too.
As you can probably tell from the colour, it lives somewhere around that sweet spot where soulful rosé becomes light red - courtesy of the Regent grape, our heritage from the times when my father used to work in a German wine nursery and these grapes were trendy. But who cares about the category when all you can think of is “fuckyeah! is there more? is there enough??”
As for the current 2019 vintage, this character is still very much present. Cab Franc and Zweigelt, extremely drinkable and fun, while still at ease in all kinds of situations, be it poolside or at a fancy table laden with all sorts of treats; I see an Ottolenghi Mediterranean-style feast when I close my eyes. (Please don't ask me to open them again.) It's so good I had to bottle some into magnums, too.
The story behind the F&K line The role that wine used to play in my country always pissed me off: not an essential part of almost any meal like elsewhere, but rather a binge drink afterwards / a treat for special occasions. For me & my family, wine is like food, something that should be on your table every day. Our bread and butter (literally).
This is the kind of wine I wanna make: affordable, everyday, friendly stuff. Not something for the upper class, not something you need to swirl your glass and head around, talking about viscosity or minerality for ages (no offense, but jeez do I hate this word). My wine is for drinking, not for flashing posh terms. And the Forks & Knives range is a perfect embodiment of this.
The F&K range started with the 2014 vintage - I met Fleur Godard, my French importer, in Cologne, along with Justine Saint Lo, a wonderful illustrator who also happens to be the sister of Francois Saint Lo, a great Loire Valley winemaker. Back in my cellar, when tasting the then nearly-born wine, we had a revelation: it was fate that decided Justine should make the labels, which I’ve kept ever since - I love their power to communicate the easy “everyday wine for any meal & table” vibe that this wine is all about.
Originally varietal wines, now all blends. Aged in stainless steel and big neutral barrels of 600 and 3000 litres. All bottled under crown caps to keep all that energy in, and once again in clear bottles because - jeez - look at those colours! No sulfur added, no fining, no filtration. The normal way.