Metzer 2018 Pét-nat
I'm a little embarrassed to admit this was my first pet-nat wine, and now... all others will be held to a very high standard.
First off, what is Pét-nat?
Pronounced "pet-naa" and is short for Pétillant Naturel, which in English means "naturally bubbling." Unlike champagne, pét-nats do not undergo a second fermentation, in which sugar and yeast are added to the champagne wines. In pét-nat production, the natural fermentation is interrupted, the wine is bottled, and finishes fermentation in the bottle. In France, this is also called the "méthode ancestrale" of sparkling wine production (you will find this term on the label sometimes).
This wine is a stunner! Bright, juicy lemon and orange blossom leap out of the glass. There is definitely a gravel/mineral vibe, and on the palette, I got a bit of lanolin and brioche. This wine is super crunchy with a zingy mouthfeel. As for the bubbles, I would say it's more than Vinho Verde and less than MCC, a great balance.
I am a massive fan of the whole Metzer range in general, and their Maritime Chenin and Stellenbosch Cinsault are a few others to add to the list.
Metzer Family Wines was established in 2006. Their mission is to produce wines that are expressive and individual employing artisanal non-interventionist principles in the vinification process. The guiding principle driving this process is that the wine-making must always respect the fruit.
On the red side, their focus is largely on Syrah as we believe few red grape varieties are capable of responding so articulately to different terroirs; while few grape varieties have such a perfect balance of masculine and feminine qualities.
In terms of white varieties, our passion is Chenin blanc. With its versatility and an immense range of flavors, it is a variety that lends itself so naturally to minimalist winemaking. Their grapes are ethically cultivated respecting both the environment and human resources.
In the cellar, a great emphasis is placed on the minimum handling of the fruit, and no mechanical interventions with pumps filters and reverse osmosis machines are ever used in the process. Fermentation by indigenous yeasts alive on the grapes and resident in the cellar leads to long stable extraction times. Wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered to preserve the life-forces from vineyard to bottle.