Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Angel Funding Wine Makers Through NakedWines.com

Crowd Sourcing has been a capital raising phenomenon for a number of years and NakedWines.com has leveraged that idea to fund dozens of winemakers across the globe. This capital is available to the winemakers up-front to use how they deem appropriate whether in acquiring grapes, vineyard support, or the physical production of the wine. The source for the funds are over 100,000 Angels or subscribers to NakedWines.com. These customers deposit $40 a month into their account and have access to the funded wines at 40-60% off the retail price. And Angels can always withdraw their funds at any time. That's a nice deal, specifically for these value wines produced throughout the world. Recently NakedWines.com sent me a sampler pack of mostly German inspired wines to verify the quality and value of their service. Impressive.

Bruno Santa Lucia Highlands Riesling 2016 ($18.99, Angels $10.99). Made by Richard Bruno, a 20 year veteran with stints at Francis Ford Coppola and Don Sebastiani, this wine is sourced from a cool climate vineyard near Big Sur. It is a quite unique Riesling - crisp tropical fruit, but a creamy honey middle, then finishing with long with light acids.

Petit Villebois Sauvignon Blanc 2016 ($19.99, Angels $11.99) by Joost de Villebois is a contrast to New Zealand. This Loire Valley wine is bright with citrus (but no lemongrass) and minerals on the palate and finishing with fresh acids. Villebois mentions that they Green Harvest - a thinning method used to decrease the crop yields and improve the flavor concentration of the remaining grape bunches - and utilize a technique called 'effeuillage' - the reduction of leaves to increase the sun and light exposure of the grapes.

The next four wines were made by Gerd Stepp, a 25 year veteran who; after working in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tuscany Italy, Stellenbosch South Africa, and the UK; eventually returned home to Germany's Pfalz wine region. This region contains over 56,000 acres of vineyards and is noted for its fruit-driven wines with a distinctive stony character.

Stepp Pinot Blanc 2016 ($21.99, Angels $12.99). This is a fantastic wine, crisp and floral with a wet rock mineral character. Plenty of acids too.

Stepp Pfalz Riesling 2016 ($24.99, Angels $13.99) A German driven Riesling with petrol, floral, and mineral characters; plus racy acids.

Stepp Pinot Gris 2016 ($24.99, Angels $13.99) Powerful aromas, fleshy citrus, and bright acids. Another Pinot Gris that is enticing back to this grape variety.

Stepp Pinot Noir *8* Pfalz 2016 ($29.99, Angels $17.99) Chalky, dusty, and spices. Balances with red fruit and appropriate tannins. Nicely done.

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