2018 Blind Corner Pet-Nat Petillant
Region: Margaret River < Australia
Grapes: Chenin Blanc w/ 1% Shiraz must added
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming, white clay/limestone/flint soils;grapes are foot trod, fermenting Shiraz is chilled to 4°C and almost-clear must is separated and added to Chenin barrels; wine is then blended and bottled where fermentation completes under cap; unfined/unfiltered, no added SO2; 10.4% ABV
Winemaker: Ben + Naomi Gould
Ben and Naomi are pretty much the poster children of New Australia Wine. The first of Western Australia’s Margaret River region (Aussie’s Napa Valley) to combine biodynamic farming with minimal intervention in the cellar, the couple relies on extreme biodiversity (olive groves, veggie patches, 15 bee hives, and hundreds of chickens who roost happily in a rainbow painted caravan scattered between and around the rows of vines) instead of chemical farming -- they wanted their estate to be safe for their young children to roam free and play. They even started a biodiesel plant on the property to convert spent vegetable oil into fuel for their winery equipment (although there isn’t much, as they don’t pump, filter, or otherwise manipulate their wines). Glowing a brilliant shade of rose gold in the glass, this wine is a mix of Chenin with not-quite-fermented Shiraz juice, which provides the sugar for the sparkling fermentation in bottles.
We love the way Ben describes this wine and how they make it: “First, we take the pressings portion of the Chenin used for the Cremant and wild-ferment it in barrels. Then we freeze a bucket of Shiraz juice for good measure as well. Once dry, or really really close, we immediately add more juice, blend the barrels and bottle. This way the wine keeps fermenting, but finishes in bottle, trapping the CO2 trying to escape and making it bubbly. The resultant wine is pink, super-fresh, bubbly & slightly cloudy. If someone calls it rosé, slap a glass in their hand and set them straight. It’s fuzzy, like Kern’s peach nectar, but there’s a refreshing tartnessto the peachy flavors, and a fermented tea-leaf herbal side, plus some slightly aggressive bubbles (just to be safe, open over a sink).