Your case & tasting notes - December 2022
Ever since I began travelling the world making wines in the late 90s, my younger brother Jonas (who at that time was still in school), dreamt of joining me on my adventures. We would talk about making our own wine together, which, back then, was only a pipe dream. In 2019 after several years of travelling and working for different wineries, we knew that the time had come to make it a reality.
Realizado 2020By David and Jonas Tofterup
Tasting notes: Deep ruby red colour. Profound and intense aromas of ripe black cherries and dark plums, combined with complex notes of roasted coffee, dark chocolate, and cigar box, all in perfect balance with the fruit. The mouth is powerful and flavourful with lots of ripe tannins, a refreshing acidity and a very long finish.
Serving suggestions: Open/decant 30 mins before serving.
Drinking window: Will keep nicely through 2028.
Food pairing: Matches perfectly with a range of dishes such as tapas, roasted vegetables, lasagna, steaks, but it also drinks nicely without any food.
Notes on the Winemaker: The dream started back in the late 1990's when David was travelling around the world gaining knowledge and experience making wines, working different harvests in France, Chile and California. In 1997, Jonas Tofterup, David’s younger brother by 10 years, went to work with David during his summer holiday. Upon returning to school he was asked to write an essay about what he would be doing when he turned 25. Jonas, inspired by his brothers wine adventures, proudly wrote that he would be making wine with me his brother, creating a collection of family wines.
In 2019, after several years of travelling and working for different winehouses, the brothers both stopped and looked at each other. Reminded each other about the old childhood dream of one day making wines together, and knew if they had to live their dream now was the time.
In 2019 the brothers started making wines for Angels, and thanks to your continuous support David and Jonas have been able to realise their dream. In spring of 2020 the Ray (the Wine Guy) contacted the brothers up and proposed this new project for the upcoming 2020 vintage, and with financial support David and Jonas were able to purchase the best grapes from Yecla and the finest new French Oak casks for the Realizado project.
For Realizado the brothers have sourced the best old, dry farmed Monastrell as well as a small amount of other cultivars grown in the Yecla region. These old Monastrell vines, grown in the harsh, continental, dry and hot climate of Yecla, have a story of survival to tell - this drew David and Jonas to these vines.
Having worked in the region for over 20 years with trials and error experimenting with the Monastrell, David and Jonas feel they have harnessed the quality, characteristic and true potential of the Monastrell, and how to perfectly showcase this varietal and this region.
From it, Realizado 2020 has been born. For the brothers the first release of this wine was like celebrating an important step in making their childhood dream into a reality.
The Realizdo 2020 has been created by interweaving and blending up 4 different grape varieties: the local Monastrell (Mourvèdre), the Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and the Garnacha Tintorera (Alicante Bouchet). Each of these grape varieties are recognized independently in the World of wine for their unique characters that they bring to a bottle of wine.
The grapes come from carefully monitored and selected vineyards in the inspiring wine region of Yecla. The vineyards are up to 60 years old and are all located in the high altitude area called Campos Arriba that reaches 850 metres above sea level. The Tofterups place a lot of value in old vineyards where the yields are smaller and result in grapes with outstanding potential from the start.
David and Jonas ensured that the grapes were manually harvested in small cases of 15 kilos during the first 2 weeks of October 2020. Upon arriving in the cellar, the grapes were refrigerated for 24 hours before hand selection of individual clusters, which were then destemmed without crushing the individual grapes. The grapes were cold macerated for 72 hours at 5ºC before fermentation was initiated. The musts were manually pumped over and punched down several times daily during the 16-25 days of fermentation and maceration. The wine was racked to large new French Burgundy oak barrels of 300 and 500 litres where it underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 14 months before it was bottled with a light filtration in July 2022.
I've made this cuvée exclusively for Fine Wine Club members, inspired by a very special cuvée of mine that I've been making for many years. "Achillée" is a blend of 70% Cabernet Franc, which is always one of my favourite grapes to work with, and 30% Merlot. All of which come from a very premium clay and limestone rich terroir at the centre of the Montagne Saint-Émilion appellation.
Bel Achillee Montagne Saint Emilion 2020By Olivier Cazenave
Tasting notes: Aromas of intense red berry, undergrowth, blackberry and liquorice and an elegant, robust, full-bodied palate, with good tannic structure.
Serving suggestions: No need to decant, simply open 1 hour before and drink it at 17/19°C.
Drinking window: You can drink now and all the way up to 2032!
Food pairing: This cuvée will be great with a good piece of grilled red or white meat. For vegans, please try grilling a blend of aubergines, courgettes and red pepper to create lots of smoky flavours. I personally enjoy it simply with a tasty French “Saucisson sec”, it shows off the qualities of the wine, and believe me, when you share this bottle with friends it will not last a long time!
Notes from the Winemaker: This cuvée made for Naked Fine Wine Club members has been inspired by another cuvée I have been making for a long time. “Achillee” with a high proportion of Cabernet Franc which is one of my favourite grapes!
Grapes are Cabernet Franc (70%) and Merlot (30%) coming from very nice terroirs in Montagne Saint-Emilion on the plateau and made from Clay and limestone.
This particular terroir is located just around Saint-Emilion (Hills side) and Lalande de Pomerol. Some of its parcels are certainly just as high in quality as those you would find in St Emilion Grand Cru - I am convinced that is the case for our parcels in Montagne.
In that area, the grapes are naturally highly concentrated and ripe! No need to wait too long for the harvest - thanks to this situation, the level of acidity is good too.
The natural concentration of the grapes allows me to intervene very little during the vinification process. Just one pumping up a day at the beginning, then after a few days (when the temperature and alcohol levels rise) I decrease the pumping to just once every two days.
For that incredible vintage 2020, ripe, balanced, healthy grapes, all conditions were right to make very good wine that can be drunk from now to at least 15 years ! We’ve got this kind of vintage every 5 years in Bordeaux, so enjoy it carefully.
The first Sauvignon vines were planted in Marlborough back in the 1980s, and the region has become a hot-spot for lovers of the grape ever since. The vineyards sit on sandy flats between high mountain ranges and the South Pacific ocean, where grapes ripen under the perfect dry, mild autumn conditions. It's far too crisp for many of the world's most popular grape varieties to thrive here, but Sauvignon does particularly well.
Small and Small Theodore Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2021By Bill & Claudia Small
Tasting notes: Lime and passionfruit flavours and aromas leap out of the glass. The palate is both creamy and full yet crisp and refreshing, with layers of complexity unfolding as the wine opens up in the glass.
Serving suggestions: Serve lightly chilled.
Drinking window: Although Sauvignon doesn't have a great reputation for cellaring, we've enjoyed this wine up until 8-10 years of age.
Food pairing: We always recommend this wine with a full flavoured seafood dish. The cool waters of the Marlborough Sounds are full of mussels, clams, scallops and quite a few very tasty fish. When they are all combined together in a casserole our wine makes for a pretty good accompaniment.
Notes from the Winemaker: Marlborough has become well known among Sauvignon lovers since the first vines were planted here in the 1980's. Vineyards situated on alluvial flats between high mountain ranges and the south pacific ocean gives grapes that ripen under dry and mild autumn conditions with sunny days and crisp nights. It’s too cold here for many of the world’s most popular grape varieties but cool climate varieties – such as Sauvignon – do particularly well.
Our Theodore Reserve Sauvignon is from older vines in the more northerly and warmer Wairau Valley. With age, these vines have become naturally lower yielding, which in turn gives grapes and wine with great intensity and length of flavour.
This extra flavour and intensity offers a few extra freedoms when it comes to winemaking, and in the winery we've chosen a different route to the Marlborough norms of stainless steel tanks, temperature control and early bottling. We feel that the individual character that comes from this special vineyard is complemented by fermentation in oak barrels - most of them have seen many seasons, but a couple are from French cooperages who make barrels especially suited to the Sauvignon variety. We’re aiming for a wine where the regional and varietal characters are predominant, and the influence of oak is more a textural one.
Quite a few of the barrels will ferment with the yeast that's present from the vineyard. Following fermentation, we allow the wine to mature for nine months in the same barrels, retaining the yeast from fermentation for the duration. After some time the yeast cells begin to break down, which enhances palate weight and mouth feel of the wine.
The wine we’re aiming for is first and foremost something that speaks of the variety and the unique and amazing place where the grapes grow. But underlying that are layers of complexity and a full rich palate that we hope will provide interest long after the first sip.
The name Theodore celebrates the birth of our son Ted, on the 5th of June 2007.
This DRG Cabernet comes from the Alexander Valley, one of the most well respected and premium appellations in Sonoma County, California. It's one of 18 in total and is particularly well known for the exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon it produces.
DRG Daryl Groom Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2020By Daryl Groom
Tasting notes: I love this cabernet. It's deep and dark with evident and typical cabernet characters of black fruits, vanilla oak and chocolate. While it appears big and dense the palate is smooth, silky and flavorful
Serving suggestions: Simply open and pour. A little decanting does help bring out the aromas.
Drinking window: Now and up to 15 years is best.
Food pairing: Best paired with red meat like New York steak or Rib Eye. I love it with a new red meat I found called Zabuton which is a cut of Wagu. I also recommend it with simple fare like burgers, pizza or hearty pasta.
Notes from the Winemaker:
This DRG cabernet comes from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, California. Alexander Valley is one of the most well respected and premium appellations in Sonoma County. There are 18 in total and Alexander Valley is most known for the exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon wines it produces.
The Cabernets produced from this appellation offer a refreshing contrast to its well known neighbour Napa Valley. AV cabs have the flavour and complexity of Napa but often with less alcohol and a little more elegance. I made this wine from two of my favourite vineyards that I have worked with for 25 years. The hillside Kuimelis Vineyard at the northern point of the valley and the Saini bench land Vineyard in the heart of the valley. The blend was the perfect combination of the plush wine made from Kuimelis and the more structured wine made from Saini vineyard.
2020 was a difficult year with the emotional and physical challenges of the devastating wildfires that occurred in our region so this wine comes to you with heartfelt memories. In the USA Naked Angels have given it a 95% Buy it Again recommendation which makes me very happy particularly with this vintage
Fermentation was on skins for 7 days and the wines then racked to barrel for 18 months
I chose only 25% new oak for this wine, a combination of French and American. My intention was to add complexity with the new oak characters from the barrels but not overpower or mask the fruit from the grapes.
The international success of 'Rioja' has been a mixed blessing for small, artisan wine producers. On the one hand, Rioja is well known and trusted by wine lovers all around the world. On the other, most ignore the diversity and true quality that the region can produce. While always reliable and good value, much Rioja these days is rather uninspiring and doesn't convey much sense of place in the glass. With Artelan, I want to change that and offer a different, more contemporary take on the region.
Artelan Rioja Reserva Edicion Limitada 2018By Tao Platon
Tasting notes: From selected historic parcels in the highest villages of Alavesa, this wine has characteristic deep and complex cherry and mint aromas. Exotic fruit expression, with inky and herbal notes complementing the bright black fruit. More balsamic and perfumed on the nose, with a real bouquet of aromas due to longer ageing. Surprising freshness and clarity of fruit despite the complexity, keeping a strong terroir identity because of careful management of the ageing, with strict hygiene and regular topping up of barrels. Great texture, without any drying sensation on the finish that can be found in more traditional Reservas from Rioja. In all the wines I make, I follow the same principle: keep it simple, let the grape express itself. I select plots whose grapes have the best aptitude for Reserve, fermentations with careful extraction and ageing in good French oak.
Serving suggestions: It does not need decanting but can benefit from a little aeration.
Drinking window: This is at the beginning of its drinking window now but will benefit hugely from another 12 months in bottle. Then it will continue to improve and develop complexity for at least another four years and then hold for at least four more, if stored at proper conditions. Drink 2022-2030
Food pairing: I am not a huge believer in prescribing food pairings, I think it is best to just try and see what works, so often one finds surprising combinations that are just brilliant! Artelan Reserva Especial is a very versatile food wine and great for tapas. Because it has good concentration and firm but fine tannins it is of course a classic option for grilled or roasted meat, both white and red. But the wine has the elegance, freshness, and precision to go with some more less obvious pairings, like fish stews, grilled octopus, pasta dishes with tomato-based sauces, tortilla de patatas and of course a good chuleta.
Notes from the Winemaker: The international success of the brand “Rioja” has been a mixed blessing for small, artisan wine producers. On the one hand, Rioja is well known and trusted by wine lovers all around the world. On the other hand, most ignore the diversity and true quality that the region can produce. While always reliable and good value, much Rioja these days is rather uninspiring, relying only on cellar techniques like blending and ageing in oak, but not conveying much sense of place in the glass. With Artelan, I want to contribute to change that and offer a different, more contemporary take on the region.
Most Rioja is still sold and priced by age classification (Joven, Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) and not by the quality of its vineyards. Most wines are blended to a house style, which can be very nice, but arguably obscures the differences in style and quality of the different subregions, villages, and parcels of Rioja. Because of this state of affairs, the grape growers with the best, low yielding vineyards of Rioja Alavesa often struggle to get paid fair prices for their grapes. By committing to buying my wine, Naked wine gives me planning security and the confidence to contract grapes with the best growers long term and at a fair price. This not only gives you access to some of the most stunning fruit of the region, but it also contributes to making the old vineyards economically viable for their growers.
The 2018 vintage was a fresh, slow-ripening and very balanced vintage. Together with the fruit core of Rioja Alavesa grapes and the typical chalky tannin of this area, it was an ideal year to make Reservas. I also wanted to make a contemporary version of Reserva, giving a more modern bright fruited style to a very classic one.
Those who know me and my wines will also know that chardonnay holds a special place in my heart as it reflects a sense of where it was grown like no other grape. During winter, I spend a lot of time scouring the Cape South Coast vineyards for the best stuff - Hemel-en-Aarde, Lower Duivenhoks, Elandskloof Elim and, of course, Elgin.
Richard's Elgin Pivotal Chardonnay Reserve 2021By Richard Kershaw
Tasting notes: Over its time in the barrel, this wine has matured into a fabulous Chardonnay that is a light yellow jasmine colour with airy, lifted aromas of apple blossom, oyster shell, rock dust, spiced pear and citrus peel. Medium-bodied, the entry is bone dry and exhibits an elegant frame washed with vibrant, mineral-edged acidity. Delicately scented with orchard fruits, the wine has the form of a ballerina pirouetting across the palate. Flavours are savoury, infused with Forelle pear, apple flesh, Seville orange, toasted almonds, and oak spices. With a very long finish, the wine has laser focus and is already showing some complexity.
Serving suggestions: Serve in wide-rimmed glasses - for example Montrachet from Riedel.
Drinking window: Enjoy from 2023 – 2028.
Food pairing: Delicious paired with poached salmon with braised fennel and new potatoes, seared scallops, Dijon chicken with mustard, tarragon and crème fraiche or butternut, ricotta and rocket bruschetta.
Notes from the Winemaker: For those who know me and my wines, Chardonnay holds a special place in my heart as it really seems to reflect a sense of where it has been grown. I spend a lot of time in the cellar making it. Before the season, and during our winter, I also spend time scouring the Cape South Coast vineyards of the Hemel-en-Aarde, Lower Duivenhoks, Elandskloof Elim as well, of course, as Elgin.
In Elgin, it is usually a huge challenge to find extra Chardonnay (or Pinot Noir for that matter). Virtually all the best parcels have been taken – and there are few second-rate parcels as they are simply not viable. If grapes are not making a profit, other varieties of grapes will be planted or, more drastically, other crops – mostly apples and some pears. So trying to find exciting blocks in the Elgin Valley that are available is like finding hen’s teeth… rare!
I am lucky that I have many contacts in the valley, either through current purchases, previous purchases, or through the business’s consulting side. I also live in the beautiful Elgin Valley, so any grape sales news usually gets to me pretty fast!
I am also fortunate to have a good reputation in the valley. Because Chardonnay, in general, is on an upswing, a few more farms have decided to plant grapes. To date, we have taken from 2 of these, with another farm that has some younger vines coming on stream this year from which I shall purchase a section. In 2021, an excellent vintage for Chardonnay, I sourced from a farm that I advised back in 2014 to plant Chardonnay. Through various pre-negotiated contracts on his other grapes, he has only been able to sell these grapes to me from 2020. As a result, this will be the second vintage of the Pivotal Chardonnay.
Although the vines are still young, I noticed in 2020 that there was tremendous potential and hence we kept aside 6000 bottles, especially for the Pivotal Chardonnay.
With 2020 in mind, we set about working closer with the farmer in 2021 to see whether we could tweak the potential still further in the vineyard. The block is being cane pruned which helps with sap flow and a more even bunch spread across the cordon vine. At the same time, it gets a more even sunlight dappling that enables it to ripen uniformly as well as avoid too much shading that can result in mildew issues.
In the cellar, we earmarked the wine for the 2021 Pivotal and decided to use certain cooperatives and use a little more new oak given its pedigree as we did in 2020.
Whilst it is a single block in name it is split into 3 different clones: CY95, CY76 and CY548 all lending a particular flavour profile to the wine and creating a synergy in the final wine.