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DotW, Final Reminder, TTTT, Deirdre, St Julien, New Ins and Car’s the Star

We have the usual goodies in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times plus an update on last week’s tasting session, a reminder on Mother’s Day, some smashing New Ins and an offer on our Provence house rose fondly known as Deirdre. Oh, and in case you didn’t notice the sun is out so before I forget, we have a few bottles of Puech Haut Argali Rose in. You know, the one in the frosty bottle. On you go.

Dog of the Week

Hello Eva! She’s a 6-month old Jack Russell full of beans. But not very interested in my core selection of behind-the-counter treats. We finally won her over with half a sausage from Pete’s pet shop round the corner. I haven’t had a dog that has managed to refuse one of Pete’s sausages yet.
Many thanks to Mima for bringing Eva in to see us. Simply gorgeous.

Mother’s Day – Final Reminder

Right then Wine Lovers, tonight’s Sheldon’s Times is your final reminder for Mothering Sunday. Just one shopping day to go before the big day. Jude has added further delights to the gift shelf to make your life that little bit easier. Pop in and pick something nice. As you will see in the New Ins, the 2021 Whispering Angel rose has arrived this week – one or two of those might be perfect over Sunday lunch. We also have just a few cases of the wonderful Puech Haut Argali Rose back in – you know the one, it comes in a frosty bottle. Available in bottles and magnums.
Thirsty Third Thursday Tasting – the results…
Amanda ran our first Sheldon’s TT session last week, here’s her report.
On Thursday last week we had our first Thirsty Third Thursday Tasting session (it’s a bit of a tongue twister, but easy after the third sample!) Eight of our lovely customers and two of their four-footed friends enjoyed a tasting of 6 sparkling wines from around the world. The overall favourite was the Bois-Brincon Crémant de Loire as being a great wine and good value for money (£22), closely followed by the excellent Francesc Ricart Cava (£11.50). The least favourite was the MollyDooker sparkling red Shiraz, which really needed to be drunk on a hot afternoon with a steak….it is a fizzy red wine after all.
Comments from the session were that is was “informative, fun, interesting and unpretentious”. (Ed: I wish people would say the same about me.)
The group have decided that next month we will be tasting Chardonnays from around the World – so if you would like to come and join in the fun on Thursday 21st April at 1.30pm – 3.30 pm we have a few spare places. Booking in advance is essential – £25 per head.
Amanda x

The sun is out – Discounted Deirdre (did I really say that?)

With the arrival of the sunshine, and a pallet of new vintage Chateau de la Deidiere (fondly referred to as Deirdre), Esther has given me permission to offer you our last bottles of 2020 vintage at a discounted price. Usually priced at £12.95, we are dropping the price of the 2020 to just £10 a bottle. Only 124 available at the last count. We have just done the pricing on the new 2021 vintage, it will appear in the shop at £13.95, making the remnants from 2020 look even more attractive. Sold on a first come first served basis. WIGIG.

Saint Julien

Having covered two of the four main villages on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, it seems only right that we should carry on. Today’s article is focusing on Saint Julien.
The commune of Saint Julien (it’s full name is Saint Julien-Beychevelle) is located directly south of Pauillac. The commune includes around 920 hectares of vineyards predominantly planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc in common with the other communes of the Left Bank. Like Saint Estephe, Saint Julien has no First Growths, but it does have eleven classified Chateau from the 1855 Classification. Of these eleven, five are second growths, two third growths, four fourths and no fifth growths.

Chateau Beychevelle – a fourth growth Chateau in Saint Julien

Perhaps one of the most memorable sites in the Medoc is the entrance to Saint Julien on the southern side. As you drive up the D2 from Bordeaux heading north, the first thing you hit as you enter Saint Julien is the winery complex and Chateau of Beychevelle, one of the fourth growths. Lots of bedding plants adorn the grounds of Beychevelle and after having travelled the distance from Margaux to Saint Julien, you can’t help feeling that you have finally arrived in proper wine country. A case of Chateau Beychevelle was one of the two cases of wine I bought in my first en primeur vintage (buying wine before it is bottled), and it happened to be from the rather delightful 2000 vintage. I still have bottles of that wine in my cellar. We also had some in the shop until recently. I shall look to get some more.
Generally considered top of the classed growths is Leoville Las Cases. This estate comprises the larger part of the old Leoville estate that was broken up under Napoleonic inheritance laws in the early 1800s. Las Cases is on the northern tip of the commune and borders Chateau Latour in Pauillac. The wines of Las Cases are often positioned alongside the First Growths in quality terms. Leoville Barton and Leoville Poyferre make up the remainder of the Leoville estate, all three Leovilles are classified as second growths. Regular readers of Sheldon’s Times will know the I am a huge fan of Leoville Barton but previous articles have covered this Chateau so I won’t wax lyrical about it here. The other two second growths are Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou and Chateau Gruaud Larose. The third growths are Chateaux Langoa Barton and Lagrange, and in the fourth category are Branaire Ducru, Saint Pierre and Talbot, alongside Beychevelle.
What about the characteristics of wines from Saint Julien? Well if Pauillac is all about power and Saint Estephe is about tannic structure, I like to think of Saint Julien being about finesse and perfume. It is true that the wines from the north of the commune have a lot in common with the wines from Pauillac, but I remember having a bottle of Ducru Beaucaillou 2000 some time ago and thinking I haven’t had anything like this before. Violets were dominant, but other flower aromas were present. Unfortunately we don’t have any Ducru in the shop at present. We do however have plenty of Leoville Barton, Langoa Barton, Talbot, Gruaud Larose, Lagrange and others, so don’t be shy – continue with the journey and try a bottle of Saint Julien.

New Ins

I’ve been shopping again and we have a couple of new fizzes that I thought we would experiment with. Both I have a certain attachment to, both are from the same Moet Hennessy stable.
Champagne Mercier is generally regarded as the ‘fun, affordable’ Champagne in the M&H catalogue. The house of Mercier sits at the top of the Avenue de Champagne in Epernay and it is one of the most enjoyable Champagne visits you can do. A giant wooden barrel adorns the entrance hall of the visitor centre – reputedly the largest barrel ever produced, capable of holding 200,000 bottles of wine and pulled to the Paris Exhibition in 1889 by 24 head of oxen. It was upstaged only by the revealing of the Eiffel Tower at the same exhibition. The tour itself involves a lift down into the cavernous cellars followed by a tour on a laser-guided train. We have brought in a couple of cases of the non-vintage Mercier brut, which is fresh, frothy and delicious with apple and stone fruit flavours. £35 a bottle.
Domaine Chandon Argentina is one of the six Domaine Chandon wines (the others are from California, Australia, Brazil, India, and China. The wine is made using all of the know-how from Moet et Chandon from core Champagne grape varieties (in particular Pinot Noir and Chardonnay). Like a Champagne, the wine is made ‘method traditionalle’ with the wine left on the lees in the bottle before disgorgement. £20 a bottle.

Also in this week we have a nice selection of bits and bobs:

2009 Dom Perignon (£180)
2012 Dom Perignon (£180)
2004 Krug (£300)

2017 Francois Carillon Chassagne Montrachet Clos St Jean 1er Cru (£95)
2018 Pierre Yves Colin Morey Saint Aubin En Remilly 1er Cru (£185)
2018 Pierre Yves Colin Morey Saint Aubin Cuvee Marguerite 1er Cru (£140)
2018 Pierre Yves Colin Morey Puligny Montrachet (£155)

2021 (new vintage) Whispering Angel Provence Rose (£21.95 for bottles and £45 for mags)

2010 Capbern Gasqueton (£46, a couple of cases restock)
2010 Dame de Montrose (£70, second wine of St Estephe Chateau Montrose)
2018 Phelan Segur (St Estephe) magnums (£125)

And in the fancy wine cabinet the following might have appeared for those who like the finer things in life:

2012 Domaine Leflaive Batard Montrachet
2018 Domaine Ramonet Batard Montrachet
1990 Haut Brion

Oh, and did I mention, we have a few bottles of Puech Haut Argali Rose in. You know, the one in the frosty bottle.

Car’s the Star

Ok, so not a picture that adheres to the strict rules of Car’s the Star. For a start the vehicle in question is not parked outside the shop. It is in fact parked in a fabulous facility just up the road called Henry’s Car Barn which is all about storing your prized possessions in a perfect environment. Very much what we try to do with bottles of wine. I was lucky enough to pop up there yesterday to run a tasting.
The car in question is a 1934 Alfa Romeo 8C Monza. Powered by an 8 cylinder supercharged engine, on release the vehicles were offered as a ‘rolling chassis’ where the customer was then allowed to pick a road body or one for racing. The car was successful at both the Grand Prix World Championship and the Le Mans 24 hour race.
A big thank you to Henry for hosting us last night and allowing us to use this picture of the Alfa. What a lovely car.
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. Lots more sunshine tomorrow so pop in and buy a bottle of wine. Did I mention that we have a few bottles of the Puech Haut Argali rose back in – you know, the one in the frosty bottle. Jude, Trish and I will be here tomorrow to meet your every wine need, we look forward to seeing you.


Shane, Amanda, Jude, Esther, Nigel, Trish & Carol

Your St Julien-adoring, Third-Thursday-taste-enjoying, one-in-the-frosty-bottle-loving wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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