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Doppler Pet Nut 2021, Štajerska Slovenija, Slovenia

£17.99, House of Townend

Let’s get the name out of the way: Pet Nut is the Doppler winery’s jokey name for this gently sparkling, lightly cloudy, copper-pink pet-nat (or pétillant naturel).

The colourful label incorporates what I can only describe as a deconstructed squirrel and the back label refers to it as ‘a crazy Squirrel’. No, me neither, but I love the wine.

It’s not that it's especially complex, just that it's out and out delicious: refreshing and dry (although not bone dry) with flavours of raspberry, cherry and red apple and a touch of tree-bark bitterness and frothy cappuccino creaminess.

It’s a 50:50 blend of Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch (called Modra Frankinja in Slovenian) from the Doppler family’s nine hectares in the northeastern Štajerska Slovenija region (aka Slovenian Styria) and it’s made by the méthode ancestrale.

In this single-fermentation method – a traditional French method given a new and fashionable lease of life by natural winemakers in the 21st century – the wine is bottled before fermentation is complete and continues fermenting and producing carbon dioxide in the bottle.

I would drink Doppler Pet Nut as an aperitif – and did, with anchovy-stuffed olives, salted almonds and cheese palmiers – but you could also have it with a more extensive meze or tapas spread and it would be good company at a picnic or barbecue (bring on the weather). Just don’t forget the bottle opener: like most pet-nats, it’s got a crown cap. 12%

Doppler Pet Nut 2021, Štajerska Slovenija, Slovenia

£17.99, House of Townend; £22.99, Gusto Wine. Very low stocks at Tanners Wines (£19.95) and SW Wines (£22.50).


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