- Method Ancestral Naturel Fermentation Barossa Valley Riesling Crouchen -
200Kg Crouchen Picked March 14th | 500Kg 2020 Riesling Picked March 21th 2020,
480 Bottles produced
Very Bright pale straw with hints of pale apple green.
Fleshy ripe Nashi Pear over yeasty brioche bun all comfortably resting on a subtle cashew nut underlay
Spritzy & textural full palate. It balances the richness and excitement of fleshy, slightly residual sweet fruit against the drying grip of gentle tannins and developing dryness. A true work in progress, these observations made at the start of October 2020, are probably going to be redundant by the time you're reading this as the 'Pet Nat' slowly finishes fermenting its way to dryness.
I love having a crack at different ways of making wine. To be honest, coming at this whole winemaking thing at an oblique angle is my default position. Generally, what happens, is I taste, hear about, or read something that gets me thinking and then like an irresistible itch, I just have to have a go. Pétillant Naturel or Method Ancestral is the original way that sparkling wines were made. I presume they came about when someone had a bit of a reluctant ferment and a deadline for delivery to meet. Having played the claymore wine bottle game more than once over my career (the first Golden Scrumpy leaps to mind) I can only guess how exciting that early discovery must have been. Presumably, the development of pressure capable bottles happened around this time too. But I digress! I arrived at the decision to have a crack at a Pet Nat when both the Riesling, which grows on Black Bay of Biscay in the North Eastern corner of our House On The Hill Vineyard and Crouchen, which thrives on the Southern Boundary of the Stone Well Hill block were not only stunning but needed to sing together! Both varieties were handpicked, destemmed straight into the basket press, and given the lightest, most civilised of hugs before being filled straight to a couple of old French Hogsheads. I let the wild yeasts kick off then popped them into the chiller to ferment low and slow until just the remnants of fermentable sugars remained. Next was cold settling and bottling as clear as possible, to make sure it finished clean. The low yeast loading then valiantly spent the next 3 or so months giving a gentle fizz, which will eventually use up all the remaining sugars for a bone-dry finished wine. As we release, this process is still underway and right now it’s rich, a little sweet and an irresistibly delicious glass of funckilicious fun!