Beach, pool, porch, hammock, boat…what do these words all have in common? They are all great places to enjoy a bottle of Olivier Lemasson Pow Blop Wizz. Pow Blop Wizz is the perfect wine for summertime sipping. This Pet-Nat is a blend of Grolleau and Cabernet Franc from the Loire region of France. Naturally made and incredibly light & balanced, it’s the type of wine you most definitely want to have on hand for pool parties and BBQs.
Pow Blop Wizz is fruit-forward with a touch of residual sugar but it has enough eccentricity to balance the palate. There are tastes of melon, strawberries, and yeast with delicate bubbles and a bit of a creamy texture. Incredibly fresh and sooooooooo easy to sip but, be warned, one bottle of this gluttonous wine is not enough! I would buy a case if I could find more in LA! (10% alcohol, $20)
Lately, I just can’t help myself…if I see a bottle of Pet’ Nat somewhere, I have to buy it! The latest victim of my recent obsession is Donkey & Goat Lily’s Cuvée Chardonnay. Donkey & Goat is based out of Berkeley and run by husband and wife team Jared and Tracey Brandt. They make natural wines and focus on Rhone varietals, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Lily’s Cuvée is a blend of predominantly Chardonnay with a splash of Roussanne from Anderson Valley.
This cloudy, yeasty wine is slightly sweet with fine bubbles. There are harmonious flavors of grapefruit, lemon, honey, ginger, and minerals. A bit green, but according to Donkey & Goat, the sweetness will mellow out and the wine will become more carbonated if held on to for a little while. Delicious, intriguing, and definitely fun to drink!
My experiences with Muscat from San Diego County have been underwhelming to say the least. Overly sweet and poorly made are the most common thoughts that come to mind. When I heard the buzz about what Los Pilares had masterfully created with their Sparkling Muscat, I had to find a bottle.
Los Pilares 2013 LaDona’s Sparkling Muscat is a Petillant Naturel (bottled during primary fermentation, capturing the naturally released carbon dioxide, without the addition of outside sugars). The wine is naturally made with native yeast fermentation and no added SO2.
LaDona’s Sparkling Muscat is mesmerizing in the glass…cloudy and almost reminiscent of grapefruit juice in color. The nose is very floral with hints of ginger and stone fruit. There is an explosion of flavor when the wine hits your tongue. Notes of citrus, passion fruit, and wild flowers are followed by a bitter, dry grapefruit-filled finish. A fantastic Pet Nat and a wonderful example of the potential of San Diego County wine!
I don’t think I have ever started off a post with this way, but there is a first time for everything – Wow. I drank my last sip of Salinia “Twenty Five Reasons” almost a week ago and I am still thinking about it!
Kevin Kelley is the winemaker behind Salinia’s “Twenty Five Reasons”. It is a skin-fermented (14 days) Sauvignon Blanc from organically farmed vines in Mendocino County. All parts of the grape, including stems, were used. As with all Pet Nats, the secondary fermentation occurred naturally in the bottle. The wine is both unfined and unfiltered.
In the glass, Twenty Five Reasons is golden and very cloudy. The aromas of the wine are intriguing and unravel with time. The coolest part about this wine is how it constantly evolves in your mouth and with air. Before too much air, the wine features tastes of minerals, apples, and white peaches. With a little time, the palate delivers an invigorating, grapefruit filled punch. As the fruit notes begin to fade, the flavors transcend once again, leaving you with a dry, yeasty finish.
This is undoubtedly one of the most interesting wines I have had in a while. If I were you, I would find a bottle so you can experience the dynamic potential of California wines. (12% alcohol, $22.99)
Petillant Naturel…have you heard of it or tasted it? Petillant Naturel (or Pét-Nat, as it is often casually referred to), is a sparkling wine made in a completely different style than that of Champagne and other common sparkling wines. The wines are bottled during primary fermentation, capturing the naturally released carbon dioxide. The process produces bubbles organically, without the addition of outside sugars. This age-old winemaking style has been making a comeback over the last several years.
This week I am going to highlight a couple of excellent Pét-Nats that I have fallen in love with. The wines, which vary in taste profile, are quirky, unusual, and hard to stop thinking about long after the bottles are gone. Stayed tuned for tasting notes and tips on where to find these delicious wines!