by Megan Jones

Hey, Fionn again this Thursday.

How are we all doing now that summer is slowly on the way out?

Personally, I love September. Whilst it’s always sad to leave summer behind it’s always an extra exciting time in the world of wine. Harvests are in full swing and there are always a bunch of tastings in preparation for the cooler months ahead. If you need anything to help you see off the summer in style we’ve just had a bunch of delicious new drops land on our lovely new shelves (thanks Megan) in our lovely new warehouse. These new drops will no doubt help ease the transition into Autumn.

The main things I’m pumped for are the latest releases from Romuald Valot. Originally from Burgundy, in a rare turn of events Romuald decided to ditch this famed region for the neighbouring Beaujolais. Not often do you see people leave Burgundy but he was sick of the chemicals and crafty tricks in the cellar and wanted to create his own honest wines. So he uprooted and now works from his cottage way high up in the western hills above Beaujeu.

He opts for incredibly simple winemaking to showcase the stunning fruit he has access to. Picking early in the morning, filling each cuve with whole bunches and then fastening the caps. That’s it. No fancy gimmicks. After a couple of weeks he presses off and then just leaves the wine to do their thing in barrels for a year. Whilst the winemaking maybe simple the resulting wines are anything but. They are all incredibly full of life, fragrant, and with a real nuance and that’s all thanks to the immaculate work that has taken place in the vineyards.

First up, the Beaujolais Villages punches well above its weight. These vines are doing their thing at some of the highest altitudes in the region and this means there is a real freshness despite an incredibly hot vintage. An honest, rustic and pure example of the Beaujolais and this would make an excellent starting point for those new to the region. Would also be incredible on the table with some of the hearty cuisine from nearby Lyon.

Ni Cru Ni Cuit is a step-up and made from older vines from the more prestigious areas of Brouilly and Côte de Brouilly. Glistening ruby in appearance, after the initial reduction blows off, we get a truly elegant number with all the hallmark brambly fruits one expects from these Crus. The fruit is kept in check by a stony minerality which seems to underpin all of the Valot wines. Class act.

Next up, we’re back in Burgundy as Romuald couldn’t fully abandon his roots. Who can blame him? Good Pinot is hard to beat. Cuvee 21550 comes from an exceptional plot that Valot hunted out back on his home turf. A one-hectare parcel of vines up to eighty years old planted over clay and limestone in the Côte de Beaune’s, Ladoix. Featherweight on the palate, light in appearance but full-on flavour. Wild strawberries, roses and that rocky quality creeps up again. One of the purest expressions of red Burgundy I’ve tried and could well be my favourite too. Absolute steal this.

Finally, were back in the Beaujolais. However, now with something a little atypical, Anonyme . Beaujolais Blanc is fairly niche in and of itself and this is a first for me as I’ve not seen one with extended time on skins, yet here we have it. Old-vine Chardonnay planted 500 meters above sea level is given a two-week soak on those skins before being sent off for a year-long snooze. This is hazy and heady. Apricots and quince on the nose whilst the palate reveals an array of spice and pithy tannin to help temper out the riot of fruit on display. Highly unique, highly drinkable!

As with all good things, these won’t be around for very long so I’d get a move on if was you...

That’s enough wine chat from me. Take it easy!