by Megan Jones

Hey, Fionn on this somewhat fine Thursday.

Feels like summer has already been and gone. Sucks, well at least we have got plenty of wine to keep your spirits up. When I say plenty, I mean plenty. We’ve been rather busy this past week. So many new arrivals I’m not even gonna attempt to cram it all in. You can see all the new bits here.

Firstly, heading over to the Loire. I was about to say a legend in the making, but Jérôme Bretaudeau is already at cult status. No, we’re not in Anjou, we’re not even taking Chenin. This guy is making Melon De Bourgogne AKA Muscadet actually taste like Burgundy. Yes, I didn’t believe it either. Just taste the wines, you’ll see. The fact we only managed a measly 3 bottle allocation of each, speaks volumes. You don’t, I repeat, DON’T want to miss these.

Les Perrières up first. Granitic soil lends this Muscadet more texture than the norm. Salinity is dialed up, and there is a cracking vein of acid running from top to bottom. I don’t really need an excuse to pop down to the fishmongers, but if you do here it is.

Bouquinardières comes off a single site on Gabbro soils. Yup, that's a new one for me too. Essentially, An igneous rock formed underground by ancient volcanoes. For those who didn't study Geography, it basically lends the wine a verticality and mouth-watering tension. Plenty of herbal stuff and time on lees make for the ultimate oyster wine.

Gaia is the top dog, proper Burgundian vibes here. Wickedly oceanic due to older vines digging deep into the mineral-packed soils, this is as good as the grape gets. Find me a better Muscadet, I dare you.

It’s not just the vignerons in Burgundy quaking in their boots, those up in Jura too. Chardonnay and Savagnin from the Loire right here. Chardonnay brings fruit, Savagnin driving acid. Again, the fact this not only works but excels, is a testament to the skilled hands of Jerome.

Finally, a skinsy Pinot Gris that is about as refined as you can get. Rosehip, baked oranges, pithy but pretty. Damn, this man can do no wrong. Like I said 3 bottles each. Hurry along.

Going back up North to Alsace. Defo a favourite region of mine. There is serious talent bubbling away up here. Yannick Meckert might be the pick of the bunch. This guy has one hell of a CV. Philippe Pacalet, Patrick Meyer, Claus Preisinger, Charles Dufour, Christian Binner, Le Coste plus a stint making Sake in Japan. Fair to say this guy knows his way around a ferment.

Yannick practises his own extreme take on agriculture, eschewing not only the use of chemicals but also copper and sulphur, instead using clay, infusions and essential oils to help the vines. Herbs grow wild alongside, grass and flowers. The parcels teem with life. When I tasted these on Monday, I asked him about sulphur in the cellar, he practically laughed at me. I was impressed. I bought the lot. These new releases are singing, bottled mere months ago but drinking dreamily right now.

This is the best Auxerrois I’ve tasted. Often overlooked, mainly planted on the flat land and often blended away into cheap Cremant. This is the grape glorified. Pouring a vibrant yellow, this is full of pithy citrus, stones and savoury salinity. Inject this into my veins. A formidable bistro wine.

Gewürzt might be my guilty pleasure but I know, and my colleagues love to remind me, that it's certainly not for everyone. Please go into THIS with an open mind. There is an electric, vertical acidity that is so unlike most expressions, I had to double-check. As a close relative to Savagnin, this almost carries over that same saline minerality and driving acid. Streamlined, with notes of rose, souk spice, and plenty of zest.

As per the Pinot Gris above, I’ve found myself reaching for this variety more and more. When macerated it offers all the complexity of a red matched with the drink-ability of something pink. Loaded up with sour cherry fruit, blood orange bitters and pretty flowers, THIS is one of those transformative bottles that takes you back to a moment in time. For me, it was picking nearly ripe, tart cherries directly off a tree overhanging a vineyard. Funnily enough just a stone's throw from where these grapes come from.

Finally, a Pinot Noir that again will piss off those down in Burgundy. Quality-to-price ratio is through the roof. Mineral, iron-laden, and sour fruit. Lithe, with a humble 11% abv that you’ll struggle to find anywhere outside of England lol. Wildy charming as per all things Meckert.

OK, again another long one. I’m sorry. I just really can’t help rambling on about wine.