Gaillac has a long history of producing méthode ancestrale (pet-nat) that goes back to the 1500s (long before Champagne began producing sparkling wines). In fact, so synonymous was Gaillac with pet-nats back in the day that méthode gaillacoise was a widely used synonym for méthode ancestrale. The Plageoles example is made from the exceptionally rare Mauzac Rosé grape variety, one of the indigenous grapes that has been used to produce sparkling wines in Gaillac for as long as anyone can remember. The vines are 40-years-old and are situated in Cahuzac-sur-Vère. The naturally-fermented base wine is chilled to stop the fermentation when there is still 25-30 g/l residual sugar remaining, and the juice is then manually fed though an antique filtre à manche, which uses coarse cotton sacks as it’s filter screen, allowing some natural yeasts to remain in contact with the juice. The following spring, the wine is put into bottle and the fermentation continues under cork, producing the bubbles. There are no other additions and no need for dosage, as the bottle fermentation naturally stops when there is still a touch of residual sugar left in the wine. It’s a cracking, lip-smacking, slightly off-dry wine that is both fragrant and textural, with citrus oil, cider apple, nettle and hazelnut notes. There’s a beautiful pillowy texture that leads to a tangy close balanced by a kiss of natural sweetness. A Pét-Nat of extreme refreshment and genuine finesse. As there is no disgorgement, you can expect a slight cloudiness in the bottle.