The natural wine movement is in full swing, and I’ve been on a hunt for a trendy “pét-nat,” or a sparkling wine that has used the pétillant naturel method.
What is the pétillant naturel method? Basically, it is the process of bottling a partially fermented wine and completing the fermentation in the bottle, which produces the bubbles. The wine placed in the bottle is raw and often unfiltered – it is “natural.” This is considered the simplest way to produce effervescence, but it also has the most risk. Since the wine in the bottle is unfinished, it’s always a gamble as to how it will turn out.
Given the popularity of pét-nats, it was fairly hard to find one. Finally, I found a cool, local wine store that had not one, but two pét-nats. I purchased both and decided to try the Prosecco first.
However, I quickly found out this Bele Casel Prosecco is not a traditional pét-nat. This one is made like a Champagne, with finished (versus unfinished) wine completing fermentation in the bottle. Unlike Champagne, there is no disgorgement of the sediment. Bele Casel calls this Prosecco “ColFòndo,” meaning “re-fermented in the bottle.”
So, after all this, you may ask how it tastes. This is not the typical bright and crisp Prosecco. This one is heavier, more full-bodied, and very yeasty. It has flavors of baked bread and tart lemon. The bubbles are fine and light. This drinks more like a Champagne than a Prosecco. It’s a very interesting wine and a good start to my investigation into natural wines.