2023 “Pezsgő” Sparkling Pinot Noir
As in years past and as is our style, this wine starts out light, fresh, clean and fermenty. We strive to make clean, flawless Pét-Nats with as little winemaker touches as possible. This Pinot Noir Pét-Nat opens with yeasty burst of cranberry compote with an underpinning of fresh, ripe strawberries. Throw some granny smiths and peary, gritty goodness that follows into the effervescent and alive palate. There’s a creamy aspect to the bright acid that makes this a particularly lovely wine for warm evenings or as an aperitif. Pezsgo is fresh and informal, simple and elegant. Both clean & raw. This natural wine contains sediment–let it settle before serving, or invert to serve slightly cloudy.
Poseidon Vineyard, located at the confluence of Carneros Creek and the Napa River, was planted in 1973 by the Molnar Family to the Burgundian varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The maritime environment of the Carneros grape-growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening. The name Pezsgö is as curious and fun as the wine it describes. Hungarian for sparkling wine, this Pét-Nat Pinot Noir nods to our family
heritage and the effervescent energy of the bubbles in the bottle. While many would sniff at turning Napa Valley Pinot Noir into a pétillant naturel, we’ve been growing grapes for California’s top sparkling programs for nearly 50 years. Pezsgö isn’t fussy or fancy, but it is of superior quality, made in the Ancestral Method of natural winemaking.
Our fourth vintage of making this wine, we’ve really nailed down how to make the best, cleanest, most fruit forward version of a Pinot Pét-Nat we can with as little intervention as possible. This wine is as it came from the vineyard. No additions, no manipulation, we just shepherd it along to its final destination. We destemmed our Martini clone Pinot Noir and cold-soaked the berries in a tank for 24 hours. We then pressed the juice to a chilled stainless-steel tank to settle out the
solids for another 48 hours and then racked clean juice to its fermentation vessel and allowed it to warm slightly until native fermentation began. Once this native ferment starts, we control the temperature of the tank to allow a slow long ferment to hold on to the fruity notes. Then just before the fermentation was finished, when there's still a small amount of sugar left in the juice, we bottled it up with no sulfur, fining nor filtering, allowing fermentation to finish in bottle to create all those lovely bubbles. This is the Ancestral Method of making sparkling wine, what the French call Pétillant Naturel, or Farmer’s Champagne.
Casey Graybehl, R&D Winemaker