I discovered this afternoon my cellar has a SERIOUS pet-nat problem. I currently own more pet-nat than Champagne, and the number of bottles dangerously rivals that of my California sparkling stash. Producers love throwing these fun, fresh, inexpensive bottles in with their standard samples, and the pile grows and grows. Not a huge portion of these are red, but here’s a nicely-done Valdiguie, fairly deep in color, dark ruby-pink with hints of amber glowing from the milky, foamy glassful.
Crisp green vegetal on the nose, without stinging effervescence to tickle gaseously. Rather serious strawberry and green-pear fruit running Gamay-ish and not showing cidery notes as is common in these productions. Clean and rather beautiful, my apprehension toward red bubbles–caused almost single-handedly by the sparkling shiraz invasion of California in the early 90’s, intensified by natural-wine-wonk’s fascination with Cab Franc in the past decade–is placated by the calm, steadfast nature of the bouquet.
Taste it you MUST, and here it continues to shine. Clearly not white wine, as a piquantness of pithy acid hints at skin-contact of a substantial red grape. I’m drinking this fairly well-chilled–in the high 40’s–but probably STILL warmer than most ice-bucket-dousers. Round and mouth-filling, the spritz driving shards of berry and savory herb bristle deep into receptors where recognition births tannin with the acceptance of red fruit. Extremely well done: I was skeptical, and typically when I open one of these for review I almost immediately open a still-wine following, but am POUNDING this stuff and will for the rest of the evening.
2020 IDENTITY WINES ‘Flamboyance’ Valdiguie Suisun Valley Solano Co. 11.4