Vins d'en Tom Tinassa 2020

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Valdepeñas, Castilla La Mancha, Spain
Airén & Macabeo
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, minimal additional sulphites
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Tom's debut release is a collaboration with old friend and organic grower Dioniso di Nova, made at his cellars in Castilla La Mancha. The wine celebrates the amphora, the vessels that are known as tinaja in Spain. An equal split of Airén and Macabeo from 40 year-old vines planted over clay and limestone, given a two-week maceration on the skins in these clay pots. The wine is then pressed off the skins and fed back into the tinaja to be raised for 12 months before bottling.

Made in a light-extraction style that keeps things breezy and fresh, without getting too tannic, the wine has bags of character and is intended to for carefree sipping, without the need to pair with food as some orange wines do. A bright, golden copper in the glass, the wine has clearly-defined aromas of clementine citrus, herbs and salt. The tinaja give a lovely fine-grained texture, the body is light with bracing minerality, a little grip and great length. Some real bang for buck to be found here and an orange wine that serves as a perfect introduction for first-timers (if there are any left now!), with enough going on to keep the well-versed interested. A go-to.

Some of you may know Tom Craven as the man behind Vinnaturo, one of the forerunners of the now more common practise of shipping good quality natural wine in bags rather than glass bottles. Since leaving his native Bristol, Tom and his family have made a new home in Catalonian Spain, within the wine region of Empordà, although perhaps unsurprisingly, they are not making wine under that DO. Whilst Tom experiments with the wines made from his own vines at home, he collaborates with organic growers like Dionisio de Nova to create an accessible, easy-drinking négociant range using grapes from other parts of Spain.