2017 Petillant Naturel
The wine is naturally sparkling and bottled before primary fermentation, with no added yeasts or sugars. It's a conversation-starter as well as a testament to the creativity and innovation right now of the wine industry in Texas. - Cathy Huyghe, Forbes.com, (commenting on our 2016 vintage)
2017 PÉTILLANT NATUREL ROSÉ
32.1% Merlot | Hill Country AVA |Granite Hill Vineyards
22.8% Mourvèdre | High Plains AVA | Bingham Family Vineyards
20.3% Malbec | Hill Country AVA | Hye Estate Vineyard
13.4% Malvasia Bianca | High Plains AVA | Farmhouse Vineyards
6.6% Grenache | High Plains AVA | Lahey Vineyards
4.8% Moscato Giallo | High Plains AVA |Bingham Family Vineyards
Alcohol: 12.1%|pH: 3.25
TA: 6.9 g/l |RS: 13.2 g/l
Malic Acid: 1.6 g/l
Aging: Mèthode Ancestrale
Cases produced: 1,131 750ml |152 375ml
Bottled: December 2017
The winemaking team at William Chris bottled the first Pétillant Naturel in 2014. Pétillant Naturel translates to “naturally sparkling” and uses one of the oldest known methods for making wine called Mèthode Ancestrale. Winemakers stop the first fermentation process before it has completed and then bottle the wine, enclosing it with a crown cap to follow tradition. It then continues to undergo fermentation after its bottled, which lends to the creation of the natural bubbles.
The 2016 vintage behaved like an enthusiastic child. Bottles overflowed when opened due to pressure and lees compression. The winemaking team came up with a solution for the 2017 vintage by storing the bottles on their sides after bottling rather than upside down. This allowed the sediment to rest easier creating a greater surface area for wine contact and thus, making for a less volatile wine.
This wine is unique in many ways in that it is bubbly, often cloudy, and bottle variance is an apparent characteristic. The 2017 vintage differs from 2016 in the grape varietals. For the first time, Merlot from Granite Hill Vineyards was brought into the blend and then was gently filtered, leading to less cloudiness and sediment in the finished product. With Merlot, Mourvèdre, and Malbec combined to make up 75% of the blend, the wine’s remarkable fruity brightness is balanced with some green notes thanks to the remaining varietals.
Aromas of strawberries and cream, raspberry and subtle citrus peel tease the nose. On the palate, a rich minerality mixes with citrus, stone fruit, and strawberry. A touch of flint supports its lingering finish. - William Chris Vineyards Winemaking team
The risks have paid off: This is a wine that not only surprised me and won me over immediately, but it also challenged so many of my assumptions. I love this wine not just because it’s delicious—which it most definitely is—but also because it embodies the idea that wine is about more than the most famous names that get so much attention, or the styles that we know we love and can reliably open a bottle of and derive some sort of pleasure. It’s also about brave producers trying something new, and challenging accepted wisdom, and sometimes, as is the case here, ushering something new and beautiful into the world. This wine does all of that, and then some. -Brian Freedman, Forbes
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Drink now through 2020.