The Cork Club April 2022 Selections: Four Very Different Finger Lakes Pet Nats
Vinifera and hybrids, white, red and kinda orange – this month's wines exemplify the versatility of pet-nat
I’ve partnered The Cellar d’Or, an incredible wine and cider shop in Ithaca, NY, to create a one-of-a-kind wine club that delivers some of the most delicious and unique wines from the Eastern United States right to your door. These aren’t bin ends or mass-produced, factory wine garbage. These are real wines, made by real people. They are the wines that I’m drinking myself — from producers you’re probably not going to find in any other wine club.
First — sorry for the shipment going out a bit later this month than usual. That’s entirely my doing. When I decided in mid-March that I wanted to do a shipment comprised entirely of pet-nat wines, I then decided that I had to taste as many new ones as I could before making the picks. That work is now done, thankfully
Second — wow. I cannot wait for you to try these wines. I know I say this all of the time, but I’m really excited about this month’s four-pack. I think it shows off the diversity within the small niche that is petillant naturel (pet-net for sure). With these wines, there is a wide array of grapes being used along with four very differently colored wines.
Let’s get into them:
Osmote Wine 2021 This is Red Pet-Nat
This blend of leon millot, marquette, and cabernet franc is richly colored with beautiful dark, brambly, and blueberry fruit aromas and hints of mint and damp earth on the nose. The palate shows concentrated dark fruits — more blackberry, more blueberry, and some plum — with layers of peppery spice and a savory, almost meaty, edge. You can read my full review here.
Six Eighty Cellars 2020 Gruner Veltliner Pet-Nat
A lot of pet nats are bright and brisk in style (more on that below). Not this one. It’s more concentrated and…dense? I’m not sure that is the right word, but I think when you drink this one you’ll know what I mean. It still has great acidity and soft carbonation, but it’s the juicy pear flavors here with layers of lemongrass, earthy yeast, and tropical fruit that I love with this one.
Buttonwood Grove Winery 2021 Melody Pet-Nat
No, “Melody” is not a whimsical but ultimately meaningless proprietary name. It’s actually the name of a grape with some pretty interesting parentage. If you prefer your pet nat on the fresh and more-linear side, this one is for you. There are the subtle yeast notes you might expect but also plenty of citrusy mandarin fruit here along with citrus blossom. There is a subtle creaminess on the mid-palate, but it’s really the acidity that drives this wine.
Living Roots 2020 Riesling Petillant Naturel
Living Roots is an urban winery in Rochester, New York that I’ve been circling for some time, so I’m glad to finally get my hands on some wines to taste and — in this case — include in my club. I typically don’t love riesling pet-nat (much like I tend to not love orange riesling either) but this was one of my favorite wines researching this shipment. It has all of the peachy, citrusy riesling-ness you could want, but also hints of banana and golden raspberry. Soft but still fresh, the palate shows beautiful balance. Bonus if you care about this sort of thing — it was made without any SO2 additions.
That’s it for this shipment. We do have a few extra bottles of each of this month’s wines, so if you’d like to receive this shipment, SIGN UP TODAY!
What am I thinking for the June shipment? At this point, I’m planning to pick some of my favorites from my tasting of East Coast roses later this month. So far I have 50 or so to taste with my new Press Fraction Panel. Stay tuned!
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Thank You to Founding Members
I hope to have a little news about the first bit of Founding Member merch soon, but to start the year, I just want to thank them here in the newsletter. Thank you:
Deji Abraham, The Wine Club Site
John Cifelli, Unionville Vineyards
Liz Stamp, Lakewood Vineyards