Ngeringa Uncultured Pet Nat 2018

Price : $30


June 11, 2019

If Champagne is the Dean Martin of sparkling wines Petillant Naturel (Pet Nat in hipster language) must be the Johnny Rotten. Where one is suave and sophisticated, the other is wild and boisterous. They are hugely different styles (more on that below) but damned if I don’t enjoy them both. Of course, I’ve already looked at a lot of Champagnes here, but this is only my second Pet Nat review. That’s partly because these wines are a niche (though increasingly popular) product and not something you’ll find at the bottleshop. But it’s also because reviewing something like this feels a little wrong – like I’m taking all the fun out of it. I guess I’ll have to push that aside to tell you about this Ngeringa Uncultured Pet Nat 2018.

Ngeringa is based in the Adelaide Hills and one of the pioneers of biodynamic winemaking in this country. They produce a range of cool climate whites and reds and were also one of the earliest supporters of the Pet Nat style in Australia.

That brings me back to the difference between these wines and your traditional Champagne-style sparklings. Feel free to skip ahead to the review if you want to bypass the technical speak. Champagnes (and the like) are fairly complex to make: first you ferment some grape juice, like you would any other wine, then you put it in a bottle with some extra yeast to kick off another round of fermentation (creating bubbles). You let the bottle age under a crown seal before eventually ripping it off and removing the sediment. Finally, you add some extra sugar and pop a cork in it. With Pet Nats, the grape juice is bottled while it’s still fermenting and left to its devices. The result is a cloudy, bubbly wine that’s closer in some ways to beer or cider. I recommend trying one sometime, perhaps even the Ngeringa reviewed here.

The Review: Ngeringa Uncultured Pet Nat 2018

This has an “energetic” nose that’s bursting with fruity (mostly strawberry) flavours. There’s more fruitiness on the palate too, though it’s certainly dry, with a bit of an apple cider vinegar flavour. A tinge of (again, fruit-driven) sweetness on the finish, balanced by a more-ish acidity. It’s really refreshing and really enjoyable to drink.

iOf course, the thing with Pet Nat’s is that for a seemingly fun and unpretentious drink, they tend to be a little pricey. Thirty or so dollars is about the norm, which is more than a six pack of craft beer. Given these always come from small, family-owned producers, I don’t think there’s any price gouging going on, but it’s hard to rate them highly for value all the same. This one is probably around fair value, for sheer enjoyment if nothing else. Still, I would put it a little below the Sassafras Method Ancestral Rose in terms of quality.

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  • Region: Adelaide Hills

  • Alcohol Percentage: 11.4%

  • Different Drop
  • Wine Ministry

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