by Megan Jones

Hey all, Fionn coming at you this Thursday!

I still can’t get my head around the fact that August is nearly over. Where did it go? Where is this Indian summer I have been promised? I don’t know about you but these evenings are starting to get chilly. So whilst I would usually be waxing lyrical about how great our cool climate is and how English wine is the ‘future’ today I’ll be taking a little break from my usual rhetoric. In fact, I’m doing a big old 180 and will be talking about some wines from this place called Australia, where the sun shines and the wine is good. Also happens to be home to the legendary Ochota Barrels. Luckily, we’ve managed to grab a few more bottles from 2022 and I would move fast as these are hard to come by and won't last long.

Ochota Barrel’s wines are the stuff of legends. They were some of the first wines I drank from Oz that I not only liked but really loved. They sing with a unique freshness and have this unmistakable energy that very few New World wines have. Set up by the late Taras and his wife Amber in the early 2000’s they singlehandedly helped to shape the modern Australian wine movement and for that I am very thankful. The wines are made pretty naturally but without being preachy and dogmatic about it. I’ll skip the boring nerdy wine bits as I think the following quote from Taras sums up what they’re about incredibly well. "We just want to produce something delicious and gorgeous for all of us to enjoy with none of the nasties and more of the love".

The ‘A Forest’ Pinot from 2022 is truly smoking. Bright, earthy, floral, and with a little bit of spice. This has it all. Don’t be silly and sleep on this one, do yourself a favour and grab the lot. Drink one now then stash one away and see what it's like a few years down the line. You won’t regret it.

The 'Price of Silence' is such a beautiful expression of Gamay. Tightly wound, very pretty on the nose with its generous red fruits and distinct mineral quality. This tastes almost medicinal but in like a very very good way. Actually, I reckon sinking a bottle of this would cure you of pretty much any of your current woes. I’m no doctor and that is certainly not sound medical advice so I wouldn’t take it too literally but defo check this one out if Gamay is your thing.

The 'Green Room' also makes a much-welcome return. Light in colour but big on flavour. This has heaps of freshness, something which is incredibly hard to find in Grenache from the Southern Hemisphere, and does great with a little chill. The perfect late-summer wine. Ochota Barrels can seemingly do no wrong and they make grapes I usually hate into nice tasty bottles that get consumed at record speeds. Their 'Weird Berries in the Woods' is a testament to this. A showstopping and restrained Gewurtz that spends a couple of days on its skins to create a herbal wine with hints of white pepper. This is the real deal.

Finally, a handful of the 'Surfer Rosa' is back just in case the sun decides to come out over the next few weeks. The rubbish weather has meant I’ve drank far too little rosé this year. What a shame. Regardless of the weather, I’ll be getting my rosé fix with this through September rain or shine!

Have a good one,