Proving natural doesn't have to mean funky
This week’s set of wines had us deep diving into just two producers, but the three wines that we tasted were explosive in flavor, quite varied in their styles and a perfect example of what careful natural wine production can yield. Tricot is one of our favorite French producers and their rosé Pet Nat surprised us. At only 8% ABV, it picks in marriage of sweet, fruity, and herbal that dances on your tongue. With Mas Candí, you get some of the most electric wines out of Catalonia: from the mineral-forward and slightly oxidized Tinc Sect to the zippy, grippy co-fermented Cabòries. We can’t wait to see what these winemakers do with indigenous varietals and in subsequent vintages.
Tricot, Jour de Fête (2016)
This Pet Nat from Tricot is 100% Gamay and 8% ABV, which makes it perfect for summer sipping (though it cuts through a cold night like you wouldn’t believe). It features saline funk on the nose, and is bursting with tart, juicy raspberry as it hits the tongue, with the wine driven by the balance of off dry sweetness and acid. As it evolves, soft but textured herbal notes produce a needed structure and balance, while also highlighting the unfiltered and wild nature of this wine. Sediment spins freely in its hazy pink hue and it just the perfect mix of bawdy and contemplative.
Mas Candí, Tinc Set (2016)
This delightful Catalonian Pet Nat is made from the native Xarello and Parellada grapes. In the glass, it is a pale golden color and features a steady stream of tiny bubbles. On the palate, you get loads of fruit, including fresh peach and some green apple tartness. In the mid-palate, there is a noticeable bitter almond note, along with a touch of funk and a crunchy minerality that lasts through to a long finish. Both the complexity and clarity are notable for such a young wine, and it rivals any well-received Cava you’ll ever drink but only costs $20. It might be interesting to see how this wine ages and how much the more oxidized notes might emerge.
Mas Candí, Cabòries (2016)
There’s something exciting about the world of co-fermented white and red blends that are emerging out of Catalonia and parts of southwest France. This particular vintage features Mando, Sumoll and Xarello, more native grapes to the region. It is fruity and floral on the nose, underscored by an earthiness that evolves as the wine opens up. It is initially fruit forward, with a zippy acidity led by red fruits. It is medium in body, featuring some tannic grip and a pleasant dry finish. Even with these tannins, it still fundamentally has the quality of a light red (and could do well with a chill). The cleanness of the wine showcases that natural doesn’t always need to mean funky.
Join us next week for three special offers: a Pet Nat rosé from France and two other special surprises. Until next time, happy sipping!