What is a Pétillant Naturel (Pét-Nat) sparkling wine?
13th June 2019
This is certainly a growing trend in the wine industry and especially during my sparkling wine tasting endeavours recently, the amount of Pétillant Naturel (Pét-Nat) wines I am seeing and also hearing being spoken off shows there is a building trend, maybe even a modern trend in this style of wine.
I recently reviewed the fine dining experience at The Oblix at London’s The Shard and the head Sommelier, Vittorio Gentile, presented a Pét-Nat sparkler whilst showing us a selection of the recommended wines. Gently twisting the bottle to release a certain amount of the yeast build up that had settled at the bottom of the bottle you can certainly taste / experience the extra yeast extract, there is a big difference in flavours and aromas the more you mix in the sediments.
Pét-Nat is made via the Méthode Ancestrale which is the oldest way of making sparkling wines dating back to the 16th century, the method was said to have been created in the Limoux region of France by monks. Instead of the yeast sediments being removed from the bottle once fermentation has occurred, the Pét-Nat method sees the wine being bottled and stored prior to fermentation finishing thus the yeast not extracted and remaining in the bottle. The result is a lighter, touch fizzy wine that can be poured carefully fairly clear or if preferred it can be served cloudy, both variations throwing up different styles of aromas and flavours.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.