Pet Nat wines are all the rage at the moment, probably because of their cider like qualities. It was only a matter of time until we started to see Pet Nat Ciders hitting the market. Willie Smith’s Pet Nat Sturmer Pippin Cider is one of the first to fit that bill.
Ok, so what is a Pet Nat cider? “Pétillant Naturel” means natural bubbles but the best way I can describe the style is it is something like champagne’s great-granddaddy. The process is simple, get the juice and start fermenting it in larger barrels or vats and as the fermentation is nearly finished, bottle it. It keeps it simple while letting the yeast and apples shine. The skill of the cider maker is keeping it all in check, with so little opportunities to fiddle with the cider subtle nudges can have big effects on the final flavour.
Willie Smith’s really have kept this really simple. All the apples in this bottle are Sturmer Pippins and are grown in Willie’s own orchard and orchards in Geeveston and Surges Bay, about 60km to the south. Nothing is added to the juice, not even any yeast. Instead, it relies on yeast from the apple skins and whatever was hanging around in the air around the cider house.
This Pet Nat has plenty going on in the nose. Lots of sour notes ranging from bitter orange to hints of apple cider vinegar but the situation is sweetened up by a little bit dash of a liquorice
Coming out of gates swinging, the Willie Smith Pet Net is full of big bitter sharp flavours. Boisterous bubbles throw around sharp cider apple flavours and overripe peach fading into tropical vibes. It’s that last juicy spoonful of your bowl of fruit salad.
The thick cloudiness gives it plenty of texture. A slightly dry chalky tannic finish with lingering banana demands another sip.
Final Thoughts on Willie Smiths Pet Nat Sturmer Pippin Cider
For your wine-loving friends, pour them a glass of this, show them the bottle. Its wine-like label design doesn’t mention it’s a cider until deep on the back label.
It may take a moment or two, to recalibrate to Willie Smith’s Pet Nat but once you’re settling into its summer sundowner vibes, it’s all good.
|Willie Smiths Pet Nat Heritage Apple 2020 Sturmer Pippin
|Country of Origin
|Huon Valley, Tasmania