I have to admit, I’m the last person to get happy about “Natural” wines. Sure they are neat, but often in an academic way rather than as a wine consumer.
Natural wines are made without any “intervention”, they are organic-often biodynamic, have no added chemicals, stabilizers, filtering or fining agents, inoculated yeasts, or anything really. Basically rotting grapes in a bucket-then thrown in a bottle. If you live or drink near wine country, they can be fun and exciting to drink as the very best are really the essence of terroir-that sense of place in good wine. If you don’t live near wine country, these wines travel like crap. They travel worse than a DQ ice cream cake on a hot day. They are the wine nerd’s delight, but the experience often falls short…that’s why I hesitate to talk about them.
OK, so I got a bottle of the Menti 2013 Roncaie Sui Lieviti from Veneto and made from garganega grapes. It retails for about $24-25 (CSPC +770202) and it’s a natural wine. Appearance-wise since it isn’t filtered or fined, it is cloudy and prone to showing some gunk inside the bottle-give it a light swirl before opening. It smells like a fermenting tank sample right off the bat with yeasty, greenhouse characters with pressed lemon fruit and quite the slate/mineral nose. Frizzante on the palate the bubbles give it some depth and make it very refreshing, while a little tart, it’s all fresh fruit and a sunny day for the palate.
Interesting, tasty, and most importantly pleasing. The wine won’t keep forever though so probably best to open with some wine-friendly company and share the love.
Highly recommended, at the very least to see what all the fuss is about natural wine.