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DotW, Bluebells, Walton Dash, T4, Italian Tasting, Fondillon, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Plenty to get your teeth into tonight. We have a couple of tastings coming up, a gorgeous DotW, some super New Ins, a belter of a Car’s the Star and the latest scores for the Walton 10k dash. Oh, and it is probably the last weekend to go and see the bluebells. No point in messing about. Press on.

Dog of the Week

This is Spark. It doesn’t seem long since we had a fox-red Labrador and here is another one. But isn’t she gorgeous? She had a good rummage around the shop while she was here, exploring all of the nooks and crannies. Who can blame her? If you look hard enough there is always a bargain to be had here. Or a dog treat.
A big thanks to Sarah for bringing Spark in to see us. Always a pleasure and welcome any time.

Bluebells – last chance?

I suspect this weekend will be the last weekend before the bluebells start to go over. For the last few weekends Trish and I have taken the walk into Whichford Wood to see carpets of lovely flowers. This year the stalks seem particularly prolific.
In support of St Michael’s Church, Whichford there will be hot drinks and cake for sale this Sunday in the afternoon so why not go for a decent walk, settle for a cuppa when you get back, have a browse around the book sale and make a day of it? For those looking for something a little stronger, the Norman Knight will be serving and the Straw Kitchen at the pottery is famed for its brunches. And as far as the bluebells are concerned, once they are gone, they’re gone (until next year of course).

Walton Hall 10k – is upon us….

On Sunday at 10am the team will set off on the Walton 10km walk/run in support of Shipston Home Nursing, the palliative care support charity. Training has been intense, we will be like a small herd of antelope racing across the African savanna. We will be sprinting through the woods, racing down the valleys and bolting for the finishing line. That is assuming we can keep moving and the body doesn’t seize up, immobilising us and requiring emergency stretcher support.
Thank you so much to all of you have generously donated so far. YOU have raised over £1600 for the charity which is fabulous. If you remember my goal was £2000, one last push will get us there. Our Donors Wall of Fame looks pretty spectacular, we cannot thank you enough for your contributions.

Sheldon’s Wine Runners Donors Wall of Fame

There is still time to make a donation to Sheldon’s Wine Runners. To do so just click the button below and you’ll go to the donors page. You can gift any amount and every penny will be welcomed by the charity. We have also had some cash donations in the shop, rest assured if you wish to donate this way then the money will find its way safely into the hands of the Shipston Home Nursing team (and yes, you’ll still take pride of place on the Wall of Fame).
Visit Sheldon’s Wine Runners Walton 10k page and donate
There will be a full report on our achievements in next week’s Sheldon’s Times (international records broken, prizes won, etc, etc), perhaps a sweaty photo or two. Boy am I looking forward to the drink afterwards. Many thanks for your support – it really is appreciated.

Thirsty Third Thursday Tasting (T4) – Thursday 19th May

Our next Third Thursday Tasting is rapidly approaching – on the 19th May (a couple of weeks time). The theme this time is ‘Summer Wines’. Amanda will be picking out some of best warm-weather pleasers for the group to try. Perfect for those thinking about what to serve guests in the garden as the sun shines.
To book just reply to this email, call the shop on 01608 661409 or email Amanda at and we’ll put you down for a place. The fun starts at 1.30pm and lasts for a couple of hours. Price is £25 per head.

Sheldon’s Italian Tasting – Saturday 21st May 2022

Another date for the diary….in conjunction and with the support of our good friends at Berkmann Wine Cellars (wholesaler) we will be running an Italian Tasting here at the shop on the afternoon of Saturday 21st May.
The tasting will take a trot around Italy, with wines from producers located in each of the main wine-producing districts of the country. There are some old favourites (Antinori, San Leonardo, Prunotto) and some producers that are new to us (Masi, Umani Ronchi, Tasca). One thing that is common is that each and every one of them is in the upper echelons of wine producers from Italy and some of them rank in the top producers in the world. The room will be hosted by representatives of some of these producers. There will be a minimum of 24 wines to try. I might slip in a bottle or two of something special too.

Details are:

Date: Saturday 21st May
Time: 1400-1700hrs
Location: Cellar Tasting Room, Sheldon’s Wine Cellars, 6 New Street, Shipston on Stour
Entry: £20, redeemable against purchases of £100 or over on the day

If you would like to attend you can let me know by dropping me a line ( or replying to this email. Space is a little limited in the tasting room in the cellar so if possible please provide a rough time of arrival. You can also turn up on the day but we may need to hold you for a few minutes if it is busy down there.

Luis XIV Fondillón

Those of you with relatively long memories will remember me announcing the arrival of a new Vermut from Spain. The juice was made from a blend of old, barrel aged Monastrell and Macabeo with the addition of a selection of botanicals. The Monastrell came from a rare, rediscovered barrel cellar in the Alto Vinalopó region of Alicante, Spain. Uncovered in 2015, the 25 barrels lay dormant for at least 60 years. The Vermut was the first release from the cellar. Today we are announcing the arrival of tiny quantities of the full Fondillon wines. This ultra rare and unusual wine has some parallels with Sherry, each barrel is treated like a mini-solera system with wine being drawn off and the barrel being topped up with younger wines. These old barrels were matured in this way until the 1960s then remained untouched for decades. We have two bottlings:
Luis XVI 25 Fondillón 50cl DOP Alicante ‘Edad superior a 25 años’
(£50/50cl bottle)

Made from a blend of wines from the barrel cellar which are at least 25 years old, only 800 bottles have been produced. The tasting note for this wine is as follows:

“Light brown colour and orange tile rim, with medium intensity. On the nose, the warm aromas of dried fruits (hazelnuts, toasted marcona almonds) and very old noble wood stand out.

In the mouth, it is almost dry, friendly and very enveloping. Its aromas of hazelnuts, cinnamon and dried figs are combined with the creamy toasts of centennial oak. Long and clean finish.”

Luis XVI 50 Fondillón 50cl DOP Alicante ‘Edad superior a 50 años’
(£240/50cl bottle)

The wine in each bottle comes from a blend of barrels, the details of which are included with the bottle. The wine is a minimum of 50 years old and only 323 bottles have been produced. Tasting this wine is like tasting a piece of history. The note is as follows

“Very deep mahogany colour and orange tile rim with greenish flashes, with a high layer and high density. It smells like noble furniture, enveloped by a delicious aroma of coffee, nuts, dates, black tea…”

In the mouth, it has a sweet entrance balanced by a very high acidity. Its aromas are long, almost eternal and very intense. It tastes like old mahogany, a very old barrel and past time.”

I don’t suppose we will see bottles like these in the shop again, so if you are seriously into sweet wines, owning a bottle of Fondillon is a must and going for one of these will be a real treat.

New Ins

In addition to the Fondillon, we have just a few specials in tonight’s New Ins list:

1999 Leoville Poyferre (£85)
2003 Kirwan (£65)
2003 Pavillon Rouge du Chateau Margaux (£180)

…and finally…

2003 Chateau Margaux

…and finally, finally…

1993 Chateau Mouton Rothschild – 1993 is generally considered an appalling vintage. For those who know Mouton and the artists labels, this is the controversial one that was banned in the U.S. In anticipation of it being a wine representative of the vintage conditions we opened one over Easter (tasted next to a Leoville Barton 1990, one of my all time favourites) and we were pleasantly surprised. The 1993 is a wine of exceptional standing and certainly merits it’s First Growth position despite the vintage.

Car’s the Star

It is rare occasion when I take a picture that doesn’t need any cropping or adjustment of some kind. This photo needs no alterations at all. It is simply perfect. A DB11 Volante. Enough said.
Many thanks to Andy for sharing his new jewel with us. What a car.
That’s all for tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. Next time we ‘speak’ we will have completed the Walton run and will have nursed our aches and pains. The weather for the weekend ahead looks ok, hopefully not too warm on Sunday morning. Certainly good weather for catching up in the garden. Or for a bluebell walk. Tomorrow Amanda, Trish and I will be here to meet all of your weekend wine needs and more besides. Drop in, say hello and buy a bottle or two for the days ahead.


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

Your Fondillon-favouring, Spark-loving, exhaustion-anticipating wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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