by Megan Jones

Hey folks, Fionn coming at you live and direct this Thursday.

I have just about recovered from our staff dinner/piss-up this Monday, just about. Plenty of nice bottles were drunk like this one and this one. All of them were delicious from my hazy memory. The stand out for me though was this guy, although perhaps it helped we had it from a magnum which always makes things just a touch more special. At a humble 9.5%, you could probably smash a whole bottle and still not feel anywhere near as bad as I did on Tuesday morning…

Thankfully, now my hangover has finally subsided and I can just about look at a bottle of wine without flinching, I can gladly announce we have got our September tasting set in stone. It was pretty hard trying to find a producer to do a tasting mid-harvest so instead I’ve decided to give you lucky lot a crash course on all things orange. After facing lots of questions along the lines of ‘What does Skinsy mean?’. We thought it’d be nice to help you brush up on your natty knowledge. On the night we will be starting with the easy-going before gearing up to finish on some heavy hitters. So whether a total orange novice or if you know your Gravners from your Radikons I promise there will be something for you. The usual snacks, good chat and great wine will be provided plus maybe even a little learning. Think of it as an educational piss-up? Not one to miss.

In other good news, we have had a handful of fresh wines and new vintages hitting the shelves this week. First up is Vigneti Tardis, Fratelli Felix a brand new and affordable, yes affordable, slightly skinsy number from Campania. Trying to find tasty things at decent price points has become increasingly hard, so when I tasted this a few back I was pretty stoked. Fiano/Falanghina spend just 2 days on their skins for texture rather than for colour or tannins. The result is this gorgeously waxy, saline wine with fruit bordering on tropical but still bone dry. YUM. This is just silly good value so you and your wallet can thank me later.

In addition, we’ve got some fresh vintages from the legends over at Clos du Tue-Boeuf. We’re talking proper natty royalty right here who have been knocking it out of the park in the heart of the Loire since the 90’s. Their Vin Rouge is a juicy Gamay destined for your fridge. Funnily, enough I polished off a bottle of 2021 this weekend with a few mates not realising it's from these absolute legends, and I can’t wait to do the same to the 2022 this weekend. Their Pineau D’Aunis isn’t half bad either. This is arguably my favourite obscure grape variety, which is no easy feat. It’s full of spice and generous red fruit but at the same time manages to be featherweight and ethereal. I reckon you Jura heads would be properly keen on this. The vines here are ancient, 100 years plus and the berries go through whole-cluster, open-top, semi-carbonic fermentation in vat. They then see a quick rest in old, used burgundy barrels before being bottled with the teeniest tiny bit of sulphur for stability. If you’ve never tried Pineau D’Aunis this is the only place to start. Trust me you just gotta try this one.

Finally, their Cheverny Rouge 'Rouillon' is a tasty 50/50 blend of Gamay and Pinot Noir. Pinot doing what it does best and brings some pleasant earthy fragrance, whilst the Gamay does the heavy lifting on the fruit front. Gorgeously supple tannins and a healthy lick of acid make this something truly special. As with all their wines this is just teeming with energy and dangerously drinkable. Do yourself a favour and buy the lot.

Take it easy!