The Wine: Pet Mex 2019
Bichi Pet Mex is a pet nat natural wine made from a dry-farmed, own-rooted single vineyard. The grape variety, like with several other Bichi wines, is un unidentified. The vines are planted close to the Pacific Ocean in the area of San Antonio de las Minas, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico. The grapes are hand-harvested, de-stemmed, and pressed after a few hours on the skins. Spontaneous fermentation with wild yeasts, the wine is bottled before fermentation is finished so that the wine goes through secondary fermentation - a technique called ancestral method (metodo ancestral). The result is a fresh and vibrant sparkling rose' (rosado), a perfect vin de soif to knock down on a hot day. Pet Mex is bottled unfined, unfiltered, and with no added SO2.
The Producer: Bichi
Bichi means "naked" in some parts of northern Mexico, and for Téllez and Luyt, it thus seemed like an appropriate name to give their new natural wine project. Based at the Téllez family ranch in Tecate, just over the border from California, Bichi farms 10 hectares of their own Tecate vineyards biodynamically and collaborates with a growing family of organic farmers working vineyard land in Tecate and around Valle de Guadalupe.
The majority of the vines are head-trained and all are dry-farmed, hand-harvested, fermented with native yeast, and aged in neutral barrel or vat so that the emphasis is on each wine’s Mexican terruño.
Thre Region: Baja California, Mexico
Mexico has a centuries-long history of winemaking that has mostly gone under the radar. Spanish conquistadores planted vines in the early 1500s, before both Chile and Argentina, and Baja California represents about 90% of the vines in the entire country due to the ideal climate and geography. Brothers Noel & Jair Tellez, with the help of Chilean (by way of Burgundy) winemaker Louis-Antoine Luyt, are producing amazingly fresh and energetic wines from very old, recently recovered vineyards of Misión (aka Listán Prieto), Rosa del Peru (aka Moscatel Negro), Tempranillo and Carinena, among other varieties.