2015 Albatross Ridge, Petillant Naturel, Rose of Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine, Estate Grown, Carmel Valley.
The 2015 Pet Nat from Garrett Bowlus, at Albatross Ridge, is a fairly deep colored sparkling Pinot Noir that is savory crisp and extremely dry in style with a frothy mousse, it is an impressive and interesting wine that gives a few thrills and goes wonderfully with food. The vintage was rich and this sparkler highlights this density, but without any sweetness or heavy ripeness, it stays expensive and vibrant throughout with tart black cherry, zesty watermelon, bitter red citrus, strawberry and loads of chalky/loamy stoniness as well as spice and mineral elements. A bit foamy to start, when you pop the crown cap, the Albatross Ridge Pet Nat is lively and raw, but gains poise and Pinot fruit pureness with air, more red wine like than a true Rose bubbly, it is unique in flavors and certainly there are not many California sparkling wines like this one, there are a handful that I know of, like Ryme’s Crackling Carignane, Cruse Wines Valdiguie Pet Nat, Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc Pet Nat and Stolpman’s Combe Pet Nat from Trousseau that are all worth searching out and enjoying. Garrett Bowlus is making some of Carmel Valley’s best wines, especially his exceptional estate Pinot Noirs and lovely opulent Chardonnays from his vineyards on the hillside about 10 miles out Carmel Valley Road. The 2016 version of Albatross Ridge Petillant Naturel should be available soon, and I can’t wait, it will be a limited release and most will be sold through their Carmel-by-the-Sea Tasting Room on Mission St, downtown and on the mailing list. The 2015 should be enjoyed young and fresh, drink it now and pick up a few of the 2016 soon, this is really fun stuff from a seriously good winery that should be on your radar.
($38 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive

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