Pétillant naturel or as it’s better known, pét-nat, seems to move in and out of popularity with a similar cadence to orange wine. That is to say, everyone everywhere seems to be drinking it until you try to bring a bottle to a dinner party. Unlike orange wines, however, there is no strict salt water, gasoline (my go-to description for the funktastic pours found coming out of northern Italy and Slovenia) line of demarcation separating the weird from commonplace. Still, pét-nats can get pretty funky, but if you’re looking for a good place to start (or simply something dry and delicious bursting with beautiful brioche notes), try the Fongoli Laetitia Bullarum Trebbiano Sparkling.
A biodynamic pet-nat of 100% Trebbiano Spoletino from Umbria, the wine is hand harvested, native yeast fermented, rested on its lees in steel tanks, and bottled unfiltered with no sulfur additions.
It comes from the Fongoli company, a still family-run operation that was founded by Decio Fongoli in the early 1900s, when he took over a property located at the top of the hill in S. Marco, in the center of the Montefalco wine-making area. As usual with the farms of the period, they produced wine and oil, as well as rearing pigs and cattle, and cultivating arable land. The first bottled wines date back to the 1940s, thanks to Angelo Fongoli, son of Decio, who produced Bianco S.Marco, Rosso di Montefalco and Vino Sagrantino Pregiato, at that time classified as table wines. Angelo’s great passion led him to see the recognition of the DOC for Sagrantino di Montefalco in 1977. From the end of the 1980s until 1999, the winery was run by his nephew Decio and since 1999, by his great-nephew Angelo. It’s that kind of naming ritual that lets you know, Fongoli makes true Italian wine.
As for their pet-nat, the Fongoli Laetitia Bullarum Trebbiano Sparkling comes in an almost cloudy straw yellow color with orange and green highlights. The bouquet offers aromas of peach, apple, biscotti, and brioche. The palate is soft and crisp with good effervescence and a pleasant mineral freshness. It’s the kind of easy going bottle that goes down a tad too quickly and pairs well with a spring day in the park, pizza, cheeseburgers, and even burritos.