Fizzy and Fun: Six American Pét-Nats

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Pétillant naturel, or pet-nat, has been trendy for a while. But these summer sippers are the original sparkling wines. Made all over the world, these wines are fermented in the bottle to retain their fizz and signature fruity, joyful profile.

Here are six pét-nats from the U.S. to try.

A Six-Bottle Master Class to Sparkling Wine 

Birichino 2020 Petulant Naturel Malvasia Bianca (Monterey); $25, 91 points. From 31-year-old vines, this bubbly is all kinds of wild, starting with a very cloudy appearance then leading into aromas of grapefruit soda, apple sauce and banana. That unique combination shows strongly on the palate as well, where tropical hints of mango and makrut lime add to the attention-grabbing format. —Matt Kettmann

Savage Grace 2019 Petillant Naturel Dineen Vineyard Côt Sparkling (Yakima Valley); $35, 91 points. Again from this producer, a one-of-a-kind wine in the state, this time a sparkling Malbec. It’s cloudy in appearance, with aromas of brioche followed by bright, broad feeling citrus flavors that tingle the palate. It’s outright delicious and fun to boot. Editors’ Choice. —Sean P. Sullivan

Grosgrain 2020 Old Vine Petillant Naturel Kiona Vineyard Lemberger (Red Mountain); $30, 90 points. This slightly cloudy wine is apricot colored. The aromas offer notes of baked bread and pear tart. The palate dances with light, elegant flavors that linger on the finish. It’s flat-out delicious. Editors’ Choice. —S.S.

Pet Project 2020 Petillant Naturel Arete Vineyard Chenin Blanc (Columbia Valley); $29, 90 points. This is a rare-for-the-state organic sparkling wine of an increasingly seldom seen variety. It was fermented with native yeast, and the aromas bring plenty of appeal, with notes of lemon, cut apple, apple skin and brioche. Bone-dry, quite austere citrus flavors follow. Acidity hounds, this one is for you. —S.S.

Sandoval Mergenov 2020 Rockets Red Fizzion Petillant Naturel of Pinot Noir Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County); $50, 89 points. Very bubbly in the glass, this wine from the Allan Hancock College vineyard expunged about a third of the bottle on opening, and smelled of strawberry, cherry and baking soda on the nose. Rosewater flavors came through on the sip, with a touch of citrus rind. —M.K.

Breaking Bread 2020 Pet Nat Sparkling Zinfandel (Dry Creek Valley); $26, 88 points. Unfined and unfiltered, this wine takes on a hazy, grapefruit-like color. It is buzzy in fruity cherry, blood orange and fresh acidity. Simple and crowd-pleasing, it is light and bright. —Virginie Boone

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Published on July 14, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide