A rare duck in California, “Pet Nat” for short is a single fermentation sparkling wine in which the fermenting wine is bottled and sealed until it’s time to drink. To use the lesser-known Malvasia Bianca makes it an even great oddity.
Boy is it good. Orange and lemon blossom nose with green apple skins, fresh-squeezed Meyer lemons and kiwi. It’s aromatic but with restraint, which I find common for Malvasia Bianca in general…not overly aromatic. Since the wine was bottled while fermenting, the dead yeast/lees make the wine very cloudy. This results in more texture and mouthfeel. This is a great starter wine for a room full of wine-geeks.
Birichino is co-owned and co-made by Alex Krause and John Locke. Their vineyard sources are tucked away in some of California’s lesser-known, great areas that all have a storied history of winegrowing. Alex and John are into minimal intervention as long as it doesn’t compromise the health and deliciousness of the wine. Also, ALL of their wines are ridiculously good values. They recently opened a tasting room in Downtown Santa Cruz (I visited it in February-great little place, and they both work behind the bar when it’s not harvest time). Pay them a visit (open Thursday thru Sunday currently). Check out all the Birichino Wines reviewed on DDWA here.