Weird times. Who could have thought we’d be writing this month’s wine club note during a global pandemic? A time when we’re staying home and likely feeling socially isolated. It’s a time of uncertainty and honestly, it’s scary to experience.
It’s a lot of other things, too, however; it’s empowering, we as individuals have the power to flatten this curve by isolating ourselves, its moving, we see people looking after one another, organizations supporting one another, resources have come into place to support those who need it more. Ultimately, we will get through this.
What can we do while we wait? As we continue to stay informed and be proactive, many of us still need to work. But we can also take this time to slow down, appreciate things, the lingering moments, the time with our loved ones (and our pets!). Let’s make it a point to call that person you’ve been out of touch with for too long, read that book that’s been lying on your nightstand, play a game, go for a walk in nature, soak up this moment where we have all been forced to slow down for once in this crazy world we know.
And take this extra time to cook a recipe that were a bit challenging, try some different wine pairings, and share a virtual toast with friends.
In the spirit of the new hope that Spring brings, we decided to focus on Natural wines.
Believe it or not, it’s a controversial subject in the wine world. Likely because it is such a vague word to throw out there, a term that can be interpreted in many ways. We consider it wines that are produced organically, biodynamically, with limited intervention, that are unfiltered, unrefined, fermented with natural spontaneous yeast, no added Sulphur. So here, we’re sharing with you the “natural wines” that have impressed upon us that wine is alive and can be something new and unexpected, that changes with the very time it spends in your glass. We hope you enjoy the adventure. Please note, that these wines should be enjoyed while they are young, rather than putting in your cellar.
P. & E. Mullins
2018 Pet Mex Bichi Wines
Baja California, Mexico
Bichi means "naked" in some parts of northern Mexico which seems appropriate for this wine. Located on a family ranch in Técaté, just over the border from California, Bichi farms is 10 hectares of biodynamic and organic vineyards. Not known to many, but Mexico has a centuries-long history of winemaking. The Spanish planted vines in the early 1500s. We’ve shared Pét-Nats with you before, to recap it is a Pétillant Naturel a wine produced in méthode ancestral, dating back to the 16th century, pre-champagne even. Essentially, the wine is bottled during first fermentation, giving it a natural fizz. The Bichi Pet Mex is a pét nat natural wine made from a dry-farmed, own-rooted single vineyard. The grape variety, like with several other Bichi wines, is unidentified. The vines are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and pressed after a few hours on the skins. Spontaneous fermented with native yeast and aged in neutral barrel or vat. The result is a fresh and vibrant sparkling rosé. Pet Mex is bottled unfiltered with no added sulphites. The aromas are fruity and salty like the coastal air. It’s a luminescent pink in the glass and unlike anything we've had, just delicious and sign of great things to come from Baja.
2019 Youngster White
Winemaker Milan Nestarec from the Czech Republic has become a rising young sta of the wine making World. His style display so much life and vibrancy and the World has noticed. The popularity and demand of what he produces has grown so quickly that its truly special we were able to secure some for our little bottle shop. This skin fermented White wine is made with Riesling, Neuberger and Pinot Gris grown all organically. All wines are in the cellar for spontaneous fermentation with no added sulphur. In your glass you’ll have a bright citrus yellow, the nose is floral and lightly tropical. The palate has notes of pear and lime and is slightly effervescent, fresh and round with a pleasant acidity.
2019 Eclectik Violet
Eden Valley, Australia In the Barossa Valley of South Australia is Smallfry wines. A winery that has been making natural ferment wines since 2002. They didn’t start off successful in the winemaking originally. It was a learning curve to create wine like this. Smallfry wines, sees themselves first and foremost as farmers. The wanted to showcase the best fruit grown organically and what a natural spontaneous yeast leads to what they capture in the bottle. We recommend putting a bit of a cellar chill on this wine. It is made with 60% Grenache 40% Cinsault and is a beautiful deep violet hue in the glass. The wine dances on your tongue with juicy dark cherry notes and plums. The finish is smooth and savory.
.A note about Sulphites in wine -
There is no such thing as a sulphite free wine, suphur is a by-product of primary fermentation. These wine makers are adding no Sulphur to their wines. When you see “no sulphites” on a wine label it means no additional Sulphur has been added to stabilize the wine. Those who do use it, use it as an anti-microbial and anti-oxidant in winemaking. In our experience, good winemakers use less, but it is not terrible for them to use it.