As Channing Daughters Winery’s winemaker Christopher Tracy is prone to doing, he has embraced the fresh, fun deliciousness of pétillant naturel wines with gusto in recent years.
The man who is making a half dozen different vermouths and recently released seven different roses from the 2016 vintage has taken a ‘pet nat’ program that started with just three wines — white, rose and red — and blown it out to more than a handful of wines of various colors made from a wide array of grapes.
This week’s “Wine of the Week,” Channing Daughters Winery 2016 Tocai Friulano Petillant Naturel ($28), is one of the newer additions and one of the most distinctive.
To make pet nat, winemakers will bottle — sometimes without filtering — a wine before the initial primary fermentation (the one that converts the grape’s sugars to alcohol and gives of carbon dioxide) has finished.
The fermentation continues in the bottle, making the wine fizzy. Usually, pét nats are frothy with lower carbonation than Champagne and the flavors tend to be a bit more straightforward.
Here, there is a fruit cocktail melange of flavors — pear and grapefruit and lemon with just a bit of saline minerality. The last time I tasted this, it had some sweetness left to it, but that is less apparent now as well. Generally these aren’t wines to ponder and discuss. They are wines to pop (it’s closed with a crown cap, like a beer bottle), pour and repeat. And at only 9.5 percent ABV, you can do just that.
This wine is available at the winery’s Bridgehampton tasting room for $28.