JWL Issue #135: So What is Pet Nat?

March 30, 2021

Ruen is currently our best ranked wine of all time. Ranked 4.6 out of 5, it's had the most 5/5 votes overall. Think that's a mistake? Head into your Wine Notes and vote on your favourites today.

Last week, we launched Wine List 2.0. Our new website allows you to fill in online tasting cards, rate your wines, and very easily order more of the wines you love.  

Every month, we ask you for feedback on how we can improve the product. For a long time, we have heard some variant on 'I want a digital way to log my wines.' Well this is part of the response.

It's not all though. As well as By The Glass, your digital masterclass, and better filtering and recommendations, we've got plenty more on the horizon. Thank you to everyone who has stuck by us with the prior experience until today.

Shop is now publicly available

For a long time, the Wine List Shop was hidden away. We never wanted to confuse things that first and foremost we were here to help you learn. But, exploring new grapes, regions and winemakers is part of everyone's learning journey.

Wines for Easter

I don't know about you, but this Easter Bank Holiday has to be one of the most looked forward to ever. It seems lockdown has been exceptionally hard on the vast majority of people. The end is in sight, and before then let's enjoy our four days of weekend coming up.

Given it's us, we've chosen a few fantastic new wines for the Easter break. This week's Taste examines a few of my favourite wines I've tried recently from outside of the supermarket.

April boxes will be with you next week. Calais has had a few hold ups this last fortnight, and so wine is only just arriving in the country as we speak. I'm sorry again about the delay. I look forward to a time when Brexit doesn't cause such problems all round.


New wines in store now

Last year, I visited the Lot Valley. This off the beaten track part of France is a true delight. We stayed in a valleyside cabin just 30 seconds from the river that cut through the mountainsides. It was here, we tasted the wines of Nicolas Carmarans.

Carmarans used to work in a natty wine bar in Paris before becoming a winemaker himself. Maximus (£25) is both elegant and powerful in equal measure. Red fruits, medium tannins, and fantastic structure mean this will pair wonderfully with the richer parts of your Easter weekend.  

At the lighter end, you've got Herluberlu (£17). Last summer, you couldn't walk through a south London park without seeing at least one bottle of Herluberlu. If Astro Bunny was the pet-nat of choice for everyone, Herluberlu was the chillable red. Given it's going to be 22 degrees today and 23 tomorrow, we thought we'd get some stock in.  

And for a final new red for your radar, I recently tasted Trebbiolo (£21). I like my reds with light fruits, complexity, balance and depth. Quaffable but also something I can really linger with. Trebbiolo is just that. Made from the barbera grape which all too often is mass market and muddied, here winery La Stoppa gets the absolute best out of it. Perfect after getting in after a long day while imagining you're eating beneath a veranda on a warm summer's evening.


What is pet nat?

It’s short for pétillant natural which means naturally sparkling in French. It’s an ancient method that was around before even Champagne.

Most sparkling wine is made by having two fermentations. Petnat is done by one. When you make wine, yeast eats sugar and creates alcohol and CO2. Because it’s done in a sealed vessel, this CO2 makes the wine fizzy.

The wine is still fermenting when it's bottled. This means it can be quite unpredictable and is incredibly difficult to make well. It is usually easy drinking, juicy wine and the older ones can sometimes have some wonderfully funky flavours.

This low intervention way of making wine is very natural, without using any additives.

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