Tokar Estate, a Yarra Valley winery, has released a 2021 Pét Nat, the first of its kind from the producer. The aim was to produce a natural wine that was youthful, vibrant, and fun to drink just in time for spring.
While Pét Nats may be known as the drink of choice for the young and hip, they are also a symbol of a “return to roots” when it comes to winemaking.
Pét Nat is short for Pétillant Naturel, which is French for “naturally sparkling”, and in wine-speak, also referred to as Methode Ancestrale. It’s an ancient form sparkling wine, which harnesses the natural gases produced during fermentation to create a funky, lo-fi wine packed with personality.
Tokar Estate’s 2021 Pét Nat, created by winemaker Martin Siebert and vigneron Daniel Tokar, works as the trapped yeast stirs into suspension on opening, giving a haze to its deep watermelon colour. The wine bubbles and foams, casting aromas of pink grapefruit, red apples and sourdough leaven. It smells fresh and full of life.
On the palate, the bubbles give the wine a lightness and a nostalgic, sherbet-like fizz with flavours of blackcurrant and citrus before a dry finish.
The wine is full of bright fruit while young, and as it ages Siebert and Tokar expect biscuity flavours to be released from the yeast, giving the wine an extra layer of complexity. However, with warmer days coming our way, the pair say they wouldn’t wait to drink it!
Sushi By the Water
“Pairing the Pét Nat with fresh sushi would be my number one pick,” Tokar said.
“The wine is vibrant and citrusy, so it’s absolutely wonderful to sip on while eating raw tuna and cucumber rolls or salmon sashimi after a day at the beach.”
Picnics In the Backyard
“The Pét Nat a crazy versatile wine, but for me, it’s all about enjoying it with your mates at a post-lockdown, low-key picnic,” Siebert said.
“Pack a bottle (or two) along with your fresh cold cuts, smoked salmon and Jatz bickies.”
Vietnamese In the Park
For the Vietnamese lovers, serve your Pét Nat ice-cold as you sit in the park and munch on a fresh Pork Banh Mi – but try not to pack on the chilli!
Tokar Estate’s first Pét Nat was made from Estate-grown Shiraz and Chardonnay grapes that were planted in the 1990s. The Chardonnay grapes were hand-picked and pressed before going into a stainless-steel tank for fermentation, with the Shiraz following about a week later. The deep-red Shiraz juice was added to the Chardonnay to ferment together.
Careful monitoring of the depleting sugar levels followed to ensure that the ideal sugar concentration was achieved before bottling. Too much sugar meant that the bottles could explode, but too sugar little could result in a flat wine. The wine was bottled in “the Goldilocks zone” and the fermentation was complete within a month.
Tokar Estate’s 2021 Pét Nat retails for $25 and is available to purchase online.