Pét-Nat [peet-nuht]

Have you heard of these sparkling wines? Pét-nat refers to the method, petillant naturel, which is used to make them sparkle. The second half of fermentation is completed in the corked bottle which traps the co2. It has about half the fizz of champagne, which is made by adding a precise amount of sugar and yeast to a finished wine. It’s a simple, traditional method that is produced quickly, around six months after the grapes are harvested, unlike a Champagne label which takes years due to aging.

It’s a fun, affordable wine, but the two below are worth special note:

2017 Philippe & Nicolas Spontané Blanc Petillant Naturel

2017 Philippe & Nicolas Spontané Rose Petillant Naturel

In 2013, longtime friends Nicolas Grosbois and Philippe Mesnier purchased 12 hectares (30 acres for us Americans) of vines in Azay-le-Rideau, an excellent, though relatively unknown terroir. They immediately began farming all the vines organically and set about on an ambitious project to reintroduce the wines of Azay-le-Rideau. (Traditionally, Azay le Rideau is famous for white wines made from Chenin Blanc and rosé wines made from Grolleau and Gamay.) The pét-nats are only a small portion of the wine this vineyard produces, but they are delicious.