2018 Populis Licorne Méchante Pétillant-Natural
Region: Mendocino County < CA
Grapes: French Colombard
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; alluvial, schist + slate soils, old vine, dry-farmed, made in the method ancestral with one fermentation in bottle, crown capped, with nothing added or taken away; undisgorged; zero-zero; 11.5% ABV
Winemaker: Shaunt Oungoulian and Diego Roig
Shaunt Oungoulian and Diego Roig are one of the OG natty California winemaking duo, making Les Lunes and Populis wines for nearly a decade. They farm and manage over 8 acres of vineyards in Napa and Sonoma themselves, in order to ensure 100% organic, zero-input fruit. And their production facility is literally the basement of Shaunt’s parents’ house in Orinda, just east of Berkeley, which allows them to produce wine without the interference of other wineries’ yeasts or influences.
This tiny-production wine is outside of the normal Populis box. They say, “The idea of the Licorne Mechante (the wicked unicorn) is to have an outlet for our (Les Lunes) wilder and more experimental wines. Like this gorgeous pet'nat of French Colombard, made in the ancestral method with bottle fermentation that continues under crown cap, trapping the natural Co2 that creates the soft, happy bubbles. It smells briny and flowery, like a vibrant bouquet on an oceanside deck. It tastes like clouds and ocean air, with just the tiniest hint of salt and marshmallow butting up against zesty lemon and ripe apricot. Such a pretty, lightly effervescent glass of bubbles that we want to kickstart every event of Summer 2020. Sadly, like all of the Licorne Méchante wines, there isn't much to go around.