Pétillant Naturel or Pét-Nat if you will. The most ancient form of creating sparkling beverages. If you’re not making one or drinking one, you should at least be aware of them. Even the most lay French speaker will understand the Naturel part, while the Pétillant bit means sparkling. So, here you have sparkling wine by a natural process. Most sparkling wines have their first, or primary fermentation outside of the bottle (thus creating a base wine) before the secondary fermentation (either being in bottle or tank and transferred). However, with a Pét-Nat, before the wine’s first and only fermentation is complete, the wine/juice is bottled. Then you have the finish of the primary fermentation in bottle and as a result the carbon dioxide that’s being released is turned into bubbles!
Shannon Burgess-Moore is the winemaker and owner under his Grandis label and this bubbly little number is a co-ferment of Semillon, Merlot and Sangiovese out of the Hunter Valley. Shannon advises there’s two ways to drink this wine: Store it upright for a day or so and let the lees sink to the bottom for a clear experience or invert to get some funk through your juice.
Label artwork by Emma-Jane Pitsch
Grandis Wines, Pétillant Naturel, Hunter Valley, 2020
Dusky apricot/coral in colour. Persistent bead (this tasting on day 2) and a fluffy mousse upon pouring each glass. Talc, chalk, concrete dust, waxy red apple flesh, light blood orange and grapefruit citrus, peach cobbler, corn chips, ginger and red currant. The palate crisp, dry and savoury. Textural, nervy and taut. The acidity of the Semillon is felt in a more tactile sense than dominating any flavour: slicing away through savoury tinged light red fruit to finish with ginger/apple effervescence. Fun times yet perfect as an aperitif with roasted nuts or salmon nori rolls.
Wine self purchased from Grandis Wines