About Barbichette Claro Que Sí Pét-Nat
Barbichette Claro Que Sí Pét-Nat is off-dry (for the better.) Vaguely coffee-inflected honeyed Riesling overtone on top of a very pleasant bubble. Well-rounded acid backbone holding it all together.
About Barbichette Wines
Barbichette is a collaborative winemaking project brought to you by three friends. César Vega is a coffee professional at Café Integral. Chef Nick Korbee is from Egg Shop NYC. And Caleb Ganzer is a somm at Champagnie des Vins Surnaturels. The trio’s project is experimental in nature and explores what madness they come up with.
What Is Pét-Nat Wine?
Pétillant naturel is the oldest method of making sparkling wine. It is also known as the méthode ancestrale or ancestral method. This winemaking technique involves bottling the wine as it still is fermenting. This traps carbon dioxide gas in the bottle, thus creating a gentle carbonation. Pét-nat wines (as they’re called) are becoming more popular as part of the general trend toward natural wine.
The earliest-known sparkling wines come from the area around Limoux. Limoux is a small town in the Pyrenees mountains of southwest France. According to local legend, the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire produced sparkling wine in 1531. Other early sparkling wines were (and still are) made in the nearby region of Gaillac. Here the ancestral method goes by méthode gaillacoise.
The first appellation that recognized pétillant naturel was Montlouis Pétillant Naturel AOC. This ancestral method wine is from Chenin Blanc grapes in France’s Loire Valley. The Loire Valley is the center of pét-nat’s current revival. Many winemakers here work in a low-intervention, terroir-driven style. Pét-nat wines from the region tend to be white or rosé styles. Chenin Blanc or the red grapes Gamay, Cabernet Franc, or Grolleau are commonly used.
French pétillant naturel production is the stalwart of the style. Winemakers in other parts of the world are now trying their hand at the style. In the U.S., producers in California, Oregon, and New York’s Long Island make pét-nat wines.
The ancestral method involves only one fermentation. The wine moves from the vat into individual bottles while still fermenting. The bottle is then sealed under a crown cap. Carbon dioxide gas, a byproduct of alcoholic fermentation, gets trapped in the wine. This is where the bubbles happen. The wine is not filtered and sees no added dosage (sugar). Many feel the pét-nat style is a more “natural” sparkling wine style.