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Bella Wines 2016 Keremeos Pét-nat Sparkling Chardonnay, Similkameen Valley, $40
Last year marked the third vintage for Jay Drysdale’s natural ancestrale sparkling wine program, aka pétillant naturel aka “col fondo.” His is Western Canada’s first pét-nat, the process in which juice ferments in a neutral barrel to dryness, goes into bottle by hand and permitted to complete the fermentation in the bottle. There’s no secondary ferment and no dosage. And these results are crystalline, energizing and fun with its nose of buttermilk biscuit, Granny Smith apple, lime zest and white peach, followed by flavors of lemonade and cinnamon-dusted Bosc pear presented by delicate bubbles that spread out the 1.2% residual sugar in delicious fashion. It’s important to note that Drysdale’s experience and skill as a bubbleman means he’s managed to tame his pét-nat bottles, making them clean and as stable as this original style of sparkling wine – the historic predecessor to Champagne – can be. This earned a double gold medal at the 2017 Cascadia International Wine Competition.
Production: 140 cases