Have you ever had a Pet Nat? Pet Nat is short for Pétillant Naturel and it is the oldest method of making a sparkling wine. It involves bottling the wine while it is still fermenting. In simplest terms grapes are full of sugar and they have a natural coating of vineyard yeast on their skins. The yeasts eat the sugars which is the fermentation and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as by-products. If you bottle the wine before the fermentation process is finished you’ll end up with bubbles in the bottle from the residual ferment and this is how Pet Nat is created. It’s sometimes cloudier than your usual sparkling wine due to sediment from the fermentation not being required to be removed by disgorging.
Pet Nat is different from Champagne in that Champagne is made with fully fermented still wine that goes to bottle with added yeast and sugar to create the fizz.
Unico Zelo is a favourite winery of mine in the Adelaide Hills. Wine-making couple Brendan and Laura Carter make wines that are very site expressive and their ethos pays homage to our First Nations people whose custodianship maintained the land for thousands of years. Their wine projects are focussed always on sustainability and include supporting local farmers through their Harvest Wine Growers’ Co-op. This is their first foray into Pet Nat territory.
So what about this wine you ask? Sea Foam is made from Riverland Fiano and it sings of summer and beach vibes! Gorgeous stone fruits, a hint of passionfruit and fresh sea spray, with beautiful fizz. It is the perfect summer juice.
I don’t know where the warm weather went this week but I can pretend it’s still sunny and warm with this gorgeous South by South West 2020 Rosé. This wine is made from Shiraz and Viognier with a dash of barrel fermented Chenin added for complexity. This is just gorgeous, on the nose I get a toffee stone fruit note almost like a toffee peach and florals from the addition of Viognier, the palate is dry yet fresh and crisp with berries and savoury notes, it has beautiful acidity. It’s the pink you’ll want to drink this summer. Mij and Liv, the owners and winemakers, are about making minimal intervention wines that represent characteristics of the region they are grown. I love these ladies they make good wine.
A gorgeous find was this Cantina Puianello Lambrusco Rosso Ancestrale from Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. Gorgeous dark red in the glass with dry and creamy fine bubbles, notes of red fruit and spices. I’ve always been fond of dry Lambrusco, growing up a with extended Italian family it was common place at the dinner table. It’s a very versatile food pairing wine and with bubbles it cuts through rich foods. This is made in the Ancestrale method where it spent time fermenting in bottle and is unfiltered. I paired this with a comfort dish pancetta and chickpea pasta. Si, grazie!
My friend and winemaker Josh Pfieffer has started the Barossa Wine Cartel label with his wife Ellen. Formerly the winemaker at Whistler Wines in the Barossa run by his family where his ‘Dry as a Bone’ Rosé is one of my all time favourite Rosé, expectations were high for this and I was not disappointed. This 2020 Grenache Mataro Rosé is made with fruit from Heysen Estate vineyard in the Barossa which is managed using organic and biodynamic practices. Gorgeous salmon pink in the glass, dry and crisp with aromas of strawberry and grapefruit, on the palate citrus and saline notes reminiscent of seaspray freshness, lovely acidity backed with creamy strawberry mouthfeel. It’s gorgeous drinking, I only ordered 6 and I feel they won’t last long it’s going to be a new summer favourite. If you follow Barossa Wine Cartel the bottles are able to be sabered and they are encouraging those who get a bottle to give it a go – there’s a video on their ‘gram! I’m yet to attempt my first saber but will keep you posted!