Domaine de Sulauze 2020 'Super Modeste' Pét-Nat, Provence, France
According to Guillaume and Karina Lefèvre, "Domaine de Sulauze is more than a vineyard. It's a place that is alive and meant to be shared." And so it is at the annual raucous pig roasts where the bounty of the vineyard & cellar, brewery & hop yard, bakery & mill, olive groves, and farm animals, is all proudly shared at the table.
- Winemaker: Guillaume and Karina Lefèvre
- Farming: Organic and Biodynamic
- Variety: Vermentino & Ugni Blanc, 25+ year old vines
- Vinification: Hand harvested, co-fermented and bottled (with a light filtration) before fermentation ends. Primary fermentation is finished in bottle and responsible for the natural bubbles. (Best opened cold!)
- Tasting Note: Contrary to the name, this is an exuberant bubbly full of citrus and pear aromatics. It has screaming acidity and tastes drier than it is. What little residual sugar there is comes across in the texture and roundness of the palate more than the perception of sweetness. Playful and delicious with a classic Provencal iodine, mineral finish.
From our 2022 Bottle Club Release:
Domaine de Sulauze | Super Modeste Pét-Nat | Provence, France | 2020
We couldn’t have a natural wine-themed Explorer Club without a Pét-Nat! Pét-Nat, short of Pétillant-Naturel is a naturally sparkling wine made by bottling wine before it has fully completed fermentation. The excess CO2 gets trapped in the bottle and dissolves into the wine and is not aged extensively on the lees, creating the light, prickly bubbles and soft, fruity mouthfeel we’ve grown to love.
Karina and Guillaume Lefèvre met while hiking through Corsica and fell in love. Brazilian-born Karina uprooted her life to start a family with Marseille-born Guillaume in the tiny village of Mirama. With the help of French government subsidies encouraging new generations to return to agriculture in rural areas, Karine & Guillaume were able to purchase a run-down farm that once housed a cooperative winery. They slowly transformed 70 acres of land into Domaine de Sulauze, a gorgeous Provençal dream which now consists of a 1,200-acre working polyculture ranch with livestock, a micro-brewery, and reception hall, all just a five-minute walk to the Étang de Berre lagoon on the Mediterranean coast. Everything was rehabilitated with biodynamics in mind, and their major staples include groves of olives (for oil), five acres of wheat (for bread), five acres of barley (for beer), and 75 acres of vineyards to make up to 15,000 cases of delicious wines.
Ugni Blanc and Vermentino are a specialty of Mediterranean Provence, and each creates crisp, lemon-hued wines with light notes of apple blossom and honey. In this wine, the Super Modeste, the fruit is completely hand-harvested and allowed to ferment naturally. Before the fermentation completes, Guillaume bottles the juice, allowing the leftover natural sugar to be eaten by the yeast, resulting in the excess CO2 in the bottle.
The aromas of this wine are anything but Modeste. Big aromas of apple cider, marmalade, orange rind, and chamomile waft from the glass, and honeycomb and mint linger on the palate. This wine scream SPRINGTIME, so make sure you enjoy it will seasonal produce! A chilled asparagus salad with goat cheese would be delightful, as would tinned mussels in escabeche, or even some fresh uni nigiri. And, if you get a chance, look up Domaine de Sulauze as a destination for your next wine country getaway! — Cara Patricia
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