Mirco Mariotti ‘Sèt e Mèz’ Pèt-Nat Rosato * Fortana * Bosco Eliceo, Emilia Romagna, Italy 2018
This checks all the boxes for a good Pèt-Nat, dry as a bone and packed with unique lively character. Tart red cherry juice for sure, but all that herbal, crunchy, and bitter is more similar to licorice, quinine, and vermouth. It’s like savoury and herbaceous adult Kool-aid! Pèt Nats have become almost a trademark for Emilia Romagna, albeit suddenly – many producers have found that it is a style which allows for simplicity but with the correct balance that also plays well with food. This is of paramount concern to Mariotti, who makes his wine an extension of his everyday life meals, not to mention the influence of the region itself. Emilia Romagna is, after all, the culinary heart of Italy.
The part of Emilia Romagna where Mirco Mariotti is from is a laid back beach area, where locals eat grilled flat-bread sandwiches called piadina romagnola, and slosh back (what is now) the common place frizzante wine that comes in all manners of colors and flavors. His vines are in Bosco Eliceo, just 300 meters from the Adriatic sea, and the vines are grown in what can only be described as straight up beach sand. The roots of these 100+ year old vines have to dig pretty deep to draw nutrients from the aquifer below as they have grown accustomed to what would otherwise be a pretty harsh environment. The vines also happen to look every bit the part of pack of gnarly old beachcombers to boot.