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The Amuse Bouche Pet-Nat 2022 is a $11.99 Trader Joe’s wine made for them by Pierre and Antonin who produce natural wines in the Languedoc region of France. Pet-Nat is short for Pétillant Naturel which is a very old method of producing Sparkling wine. It is also called the Ancestral Method.
A simple explanation of Pet-Nat is the wine is fermented and before fermentation is complete the wine is bottled. The wine finishes the fermentation process in the bottle and the gasses released from the process are converted into bubbles. The Champagne Method and the Prosecco Method involve the wine undergoing 2 fermentations with additional yeast and sugar added to the wine for the second fermentation.
Nothing is added to the wine with Pet-Nat, no additional sugar or yeast. Pet-Nat has more of a fizz than the full-tilt bubbles in Champagne and has a far less yeasty characteristic. The alcohol level in Pet-Nat is offen lover but here it is 12.5% which is not much different from Champagne or Prosecco.
The wine is slightly cloudy since there was no opportunity to filter the wine, everything had to be bottled “as is”. This type of wine has been around in the stores for a while, it was often used as a bridal wine, something that is lower in alcohol for the bride and groom to use for toasts. Multiple Champagne toasts may be a bit too much alcohol, Pet-Nat is a more reasonable solution.
Amuse Bouche translates to an appetizer, a little something special. Pierre and Antonin are known for their Pet-Nat wines which sell for $20 to $25. The Amuse Bouche Pet-Nat 2022 looks very much like those wines, the labeling is similar. I do not know if this is a re-bottling of those wines or a Pet-Nat made especially for Trader Joe’s. $11.99 is a very good price for a Pet-Nat. They do not add sugar, yeast, or sulfates to this wine.
The Amuse Bouche Pet-Nat 2022 Tasting Notes
The color is a mix of silver and amber in the glass though in the bottle it reminds me a little of unfiltered apple juice. The nose is interesting, there is apple, honey, soft spice, and over-ripe peach, with herbs. The Amuse Bouche Pet-Nat 2022 has a unique flavor, it is more yeasty than I expected along with flavors that are both familiar and unusual.
This Bubbly tastes like honey/lemon cough drops (not sweet), green apple, melon, peach, and lime, and has a salty/nutty sensation. There is no mid-palate the main body of the wine flows thru to the finish.
The winemakers say they do no intervention, the grapes are pressed, and the juice is sent to the fermenter and then to the bottle. They do not add or subtract anything. This is not what we typically find in value-priced wine.
- The Amuse Bouche Pet-Nat 2022 is a very interesting wine. It is so different that I am not sure I fully understand it.
- I am all for being challenged by a value-priced wine.
- Do I love? I am not quite sure, but I will figure it out before the bottle is empty.