Milan Nestarec - Nach - 1 liter - 2020
Serving some bright Moravian red realness
I'm super fond of red wines from the Jura: they’re sort of the underdogs when compared to the famous whites from the same region. Moravia is a similar story, although it’s maybe more due to a lack of confidence – if you spent some time around here, you’d have necesarilly heard that phrase “we can't make a decent red in Moravia, there's just not enough sun here”. This always makes my blood boil, because we actually do have a gem on our hands here: light-bodied, fun reds with good acidity. Just stop longing for those flashy fleshy Chilean / Southern reds and be happy with the beauty available at your doorstep...
I'm biased, obviously, since I’ve been drinking the typical rural Moravian red since I was a kid - before the dawn of new oak barrels, de-acidifiers, tannins and all the other BS covering the sense of place in our wines. But I wanted to put the normal, juicy Moravian red back in the spotlight. So voila Nach, named after its colour (= purple in Czech). The 2020 vintage is a blend of Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch, and newly also St.Laurent, a grape I love and would love to see around more. Aged in big (3000l) neutral oak barrels, bottled in a healthy measure of one liter.
The idea here is to have wine that you can drink with literally everyone, be they natural wine fans or haters. (I sometimes joke that I make this wine so that I have something to drink with my Bílovice neighbours.)
Nach used to have the same label as my White Label range, which actually didn't make much sense as its character and making of is quite different. So, after some digging, we came up with this brand new packaging, whose "rustic finesse" conveys better the message in the bottle. To make it really "us", the label is now a linocut made by my dear wife Mirka, and we found a cute plump bottle whose shape and crown cap transport me right to my childhood when we used to buy beer or juice in such containers.
The 2020 vintage was a perfect moment for this shift since it was, after a couple of warm and early harvests, a year when we went back to what I knew as a kid: a challenging rainy vintage from mid-September to end-October, more raincoats than short sleeves. Many of my fellow winemakers were gutted, but I was actually fascinated. This is the Moravia I remember, with great acidity, low ABV, elegant aromatics.
We kept the liter volume, of course, as it's an important part of Moravian wine heritage. I remember hearing the word “másnica” used for a bottle of wine when I was a kid. Only as an adult did I learn that it derives from the German Mass, an old volumetric unit roughly equalling 1 liter, which used to be a standard size of bottle for a guy working in the field (mixing it with water to get more quantity, lol). I do love the term “minimagnum” too, though, courtesy of my Montréal friends.