Rosehall Run Pét Nat
Even as I poured it into a glass, I was charmed by this wine. Its beguiling, diffused glow of uncut rubies a harbinger of its un-affected beauty, this is a boho-chic wine, full of eclectic aromas.
As if I were not already taken with its colour and soft radiance, I was captivated, once again, with its ephemeral floral perfume. Oh, but it had more to say! With each sniff, I saw another facet; there was subtle funk, a hint of amla (Indian gooseberry), citrus notes (mainly lemon), and a touch of apple cider. A swirl and sip revealed even more: aromas of cranberry, orange peel, and raspberry cola.
And of course, the crowning glory of many a PEC wine, there was that gorgeous minerality, expressed here as a stony and chalky note that I absolutely loved (but I used to eat chalk as a child and drop down on all fours to smell the earth after the first monsoon rain, so take my love of mineral notes with a pinch of salt :P).
The wine in this bottle was dry by the time I popped it open. Usually, of course, wines come to us with a certain level of sweetness that does not change much over time. This is because the yeast that ferment grape juice by converting sugar into alcohol are (generally) filtered out of wine after fermentation, before bottling. This is a wine made by the pétillant naturel or méthode ancestrale process, however. Therefore, as intended by the winemaker, fermentation was still ongoing when it was bottled. This means, had I opened the bottle sooner, the wine might have tasted slightly sweeter (due to residual sugar that was not yet converted by the yeast into alcohol). Some may find that the slightest hint of sweetness may compliment the wine’s fruity and floral character well.
This wine, with its lovely mosaic of flavours (which is not surprising considering it is a blend of 9 grape varieties), is one I would enjoy drinking with friends, whilst chatting about the aromas and flavours we encounter in it. It can be enjoyed now and would make a great subject for a virtual wine-tasting while we’re all cloistered indoors. Having said that, I would also cellar a bottle, to try it in a year or two, to see how it evolves.
I sampled it alongside a vegetarian antipasto. Given its low alcohol (10% abv), soft mousse (typical of this style of bubbly), and generous but not bracing acidity, I think this would go wonderfully with Indian food that is not too acidic or rich. I would recommend idlis, dosas, dals (lentils) and biryani. It would also be great with Indian snacks like pakoras, bajjis (a South Indian fried snack), papad (appadams), and mixture (what people in North America seem to call “hot mix”).