by Megan Jones

Hey, Fionn again this Thursday!

Lots of nice things have recently graced our shelves. I’m truly at my happiest when our shelves are teeming with excellent wines even though they are bottles that I probably shouldn’t be buying and certainly not until payday. Thankfully I have got you guys to help me out and buy ‘em all so I don’t have to stare longingly at them, right?

First up we will be visiting the Loire! What a region by the way with something for everyone. Sweet and dry, fizz and still, white and red. I’m particularly chirpy as we’ve had a little restock from the master himself, Robinot. I’ve been known to throw the word legend around willy-nilly but when I say this man is a legend of the natural wine scene you better believe it. Way back in the day he started the famed Parisian wine bar L’Ange Vin and then France’s premier Natural Wine journal Le Rouge et le Blanc. A true pioneer, he has now turned his hand to making some of the most beautiful wines I’ve tried from his home in the Loire.

Charme is picked a little later than some of his other bottlings and is immediately pressed off into old barrels. There is ripe fruit and a lot of leesy complexity on show here which one could mistakenly think would be too much. Fortunately, as we are talking about Chenin, we have that hallmark pulsating acidity rolling through to keep things very very moreish. This is in incredible shape right now, and I can only see this getting better with age.

L’Iris is somehow a further step up in quality! Silly old vines doing what they do best (like nearly 100 years old). Again a simple elevage lets the immaculate fruit take centre stage and the resulting wine is pulsating. Reflecting the vintage there's this beautiful core of orchard fruit which is dense and concentrated but balanced out by that soaring acidity. Rewarding right now and with a long glorious life ahead. Salivating as I type.

We also have a heap of his Opera Blanc which is fruit from younger vines that still offers serious bang for your buck. This is pouring BTG at Dan’s right now so if you want to dip your toes into the wines from this legend I highly recommend you make your way down soon as it’s not gonna stick around forever…

Now from one legend to another, we have been very fortunate to grab a small but mighty allocation of a true unicorn from Frank Cornelissen. Magma is his top wine and is only made in years where a perfect level of ripeness is achieved. Silly old vines again and this time ungrafted on the steep slopes of Etna. This is Nerello Masacalese of the very highest order. Complex and earthy on the nose whilst the palate is brooding with lifted notes of plum, cherry and more earthy spice. It's a once-in-a-lifetime kinda wine. Please do my wallet a favour and snap this up before I blow all my wages on as much of this as I can get my hands on. Truly life-affirming stuff.

Finally, we are taking a little trip over to the island of Pantelleria which sits somewhere between Sicily and Tunisia, totally in a world of its own. Although considered part of Sicily, geographically it is more of a Tunisian outpost. The combined factors of the Mediterranean Sea, baking summers, and the strong winds have really molded this floating piece of lava into an island with a special terroir. With its diverse ecosystem, complicated history, and a culture intertwined with Arabic influence Pantelleria is truly unique. SOKI SOKI is the ultimate reflection of this beautifully wild island. Fragrant Zibibo that is heady and intense without being overbearing. Almost medicinal, the nose is alluring and captivating before being balanced out by this signature saline mineral finish.

That’s enough wine chit-chat today, I could wax lyrical for pages and pages on the wines touched on above but sadly I’ve got a rather large delivery incoming any minute now!

Take it easy