Gabrielle Pet Nat 2021

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fizzy honey, bees wax, lemon blossom, fresh pears and candied grapefruit peel


If you dipped a toe into the Pet Nat craze a couple of years ago and found yourself staring at a half full bottle, wondering why it was so hazy and why it smells so weird, you are not alone. It is a category wrought with funky wines, where producers hang more importance on the lack of intervention than the actual drinkability of the final product. I cannot tell you how many times I have tasted examples that display multiple flaws, only for the sales rep to explain that is how they intend for the wine to taste. While the wines have fans, we also hear a fair amount about bad experiences. Thankfully, we are starting to find new examples where the wines are clean and delicious.

A great example to educate, or re-educate yourself about this category is this delicious example from the King’s Valley region of Australia. The vineyards are farmed using organic practices and the wine is made from a blend of Arneis (54%), Pinot Grigio (30%) and Gewürztraminer (16%).

The secret to the clarity and complexity of this wine begins with how winemaker Anthony Allport produces this wine. The fermentation begins in tank with Pinot Grigio, then Gewürztraminer and finally Arneis are added, and the fermentation lasts for a couple of months at very low temperature. Anthony racks the wine a couple of times to remove the gross lees, or chunky sediment, then bottles while the wine still has measurable sugar and yeast. At that point the wine finishes fermentation in the bottle, creating the sparkle but leaving the chunks and funk behind.

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