The Wine: Splash pet-nat 2017
Light white pet nat wine made from 100% Semillion grapes grown organically in Bergerac, France, near Bordeaux. Splash pet-nat is very low in alcohol, only 10% ABV, and displays note of white tropical fruit, citrus, sour apple, and wheat. The palate is crisp, zesty, and refreshing.
The Producer: Château Barouillet
Vincent Alexis is an eighth-generation winemaker and a rising star in the natural wine scene. Joining his father in 2010, he started organic farming at Chateau Barouillet. Organic conversion started with 6 hectares and since 2013 the entire estate has been organic. They have 14 grape varieties planted and Vincent intends to keep re-planting old varieties until he is the first in the area to have all traditional permitted varieties.
In Pomport and Mescoules there is 10-40cm of clay topsoil and then limestone. Clay is good for hot weather due to water retention, and acidity in the wines is helped by the limestone. In Bergerac, you need to work hard to keep acidity in the wines due to the warm, dry climate.
In Pecharment soil is a mix of red clay, iron, and silex. The flint rocks in the soil retain heat which helps the maturation of the grapes. The area is cooler than the rest of Bergerac and has more rain, therefore the harvest is later and the fruit is riper.
The Region: Bergerac
The Bergerac region is located in Southwestern France, around the city of Bergerac, east of Bordeaux and south of the Dordogne river. In Bergerac wine has been made for centuries and yet the region is not well-known. The reason for this is its proximity to Bordeaux, perhaps the most famous wine region in the world.
Bergerac not only borders with Bordeaux, but also shares its ampelographic profile: grape varietals grown in the region are the same grown in Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot for red wines, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, and Semillon, for white wines, are the most widely planted grape varietals in Bergerac. Monbazillac and Cotes de Bergerac are the AOC appellations where the best quality wines can be found.
The Terroir of Bergerac
The climate of Bergerac is on average maritime, however, as we move away from the Atlantic Ocean, it becomes gradually colder during the winter and hotter during the summer. Along the Dordogne river, we have higher humidity, and that’s where we can find sweet wines made with the noble rot technique. There is no soil formation typical to Bergerac: soils range from limestone, gravel with clay, and sand.