2020 Gearhead Sauvignon Blanc Princess Pet’Nat
Region: Contra Costa < California
Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: fermented carbonically for 14 days, no treading
or adding of Co2; hand-disgorged and bottled under crown cap with
nothing added (zero-zero); 12% ABV; 70 cases
Winemaker: Craig West
makes wine at Noel’s Richmond facility for his upstart natural wine
label, Gearhead. Craig was a fisherman and a baker for Acme Bread,
but when he met Noel and started helping him with production, he
decided that this was his calling and pivoted to wine. Now he makes
tiny lots of wine from organic farming, all foot tread, many with
carbonic maceration, and all sans added sulfur.
Craig is scrappy like most of the new natty crew in California, and
searches high and low for organic fruit to purchase. For this wine,
he found some pristine PG from a guy called Tom, who farms his small
vineyard organically, in Contra Costa county -- the same vineyard that
also gives us the Pinot Gris Craig uses in his pink Princess fizz.
About this wine Craig says, "The SB was done carbo I was on vacation
when it came in when I returned the fermentation was so vocal bubbling
and happy that I pressed it after 14 days. It went into bottle the
same day -- that never happens -- so the stars aligned on this one!"
For the whimsical label art, he's sticking with the cute princess
drawing from his talented 10-year old daughter, who drove a hard
bargain and charged dad $50 for the rights to her work.
We tasted this wine as it was being bottled, and of course we loved it
-- how could you not love a crazy carbonic, skin-macerated Sauv Blanc
fizz that tastes like a Greyhound cocktail and hard cider had a baby?
Softly fizzy and tart, with electric grapefruit and lemon peels, it's
super dry and chalky, not to mention refreshing and extremely
drinkable, any time of the day. We're loving Craig's strong Pet'nat
game in 2020