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DotW, English Wine Week, Father’s Day, New Ins & Car’s the Star

How are you doing? Warm? Hopefully you have had time to enjoy a little of the mini heat-wave we have been experiencing. After last week’s Shipston-fest we are back to wine this week. We have taken delivery of some excellent New Ins this week, albeit with a bent towards Champagne and Italy. No issue with that. As usual we top and tail with a dog and a car…well, cars actually. And a final reminder about Father’s Day. Push on and enjoy the last of the sunshine.

Dog of the Week

We haven’t had an updated picture of Viv for quite a while. He first came to us as a wee puppy. Puppy no more. He is not quite fully grown, but is now a big dog nonetheless. And of course he oozes cuteness.
Many thanks to both Emily and Charlie for the regular Viv visits and playtime. Always a pleasure.

Celebrating English Wine Week: 18th – 26th June

Amanda has written a short article about English Wine Week which starts tomorrow. A good attempt at addressing some of the consumer concerns over this emerging wine producing region which has such high potential.
Just some of the English wines we have in the shop
This week we are very excited to be supporting English Wine Week. From Saturday 18th to Sunday 26th June.  English wines are continuing to grow in popularity as the quality improves and there is a desire with many of us to support the local economy. English sparkling wines in particular are now World class and they form a core part of our range. We often get questions about English wines so here’s a list of the most commonly asked, with the answers…

Are English wines any good?
Definitely! There are some excellent quality English wines and as the vines grow older and the winemakers gain more experience the quality of the wines is continually improving. The climate here in England isn’t warm enough to grow many familiar wine grape varieties, however some the varieties which thrive in cooler conditions are well suited to the English climate. Varieties such as Bacchus, Dornfelder and the Champagne varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are all growing well in England.

Why are English wines so expensive?
The quality of the best English wines rivals the quality of other wines at the same price point, so perhaps they are not that expensive in relative terms. There are however several other factors to consider. The climate in England is unpredictable and a good crop is never guaranteed. There are no economies of scale in England yet as wine is not being produced in sufficient quantity to gain these benefits. Land, labour, materials and winery facilities are all expensive when compared to some other wine producing regions. Unlike many other countries, our Government doesn’t subsidise English wine growers. Most vineyards only survive through making extra income from wine tours and tastings.

How do English wines compare to those from other countries? 
The cool climate and long daylight hours in summer mean that the grapes have a long time to ripen. This allows a broad range of flavours to develop. Sugar levels don’t usually get as high as they do in warmer climates so the wines tend to be lighter in body and lower in alcohol. Perfect conditions for the production of quality sparkling wines. Still white wines are usually aromatic, crisp and light bodied – just right for summer drinking. Reds are also light in body and refreshing although quality for reds is variable so shop around to find a style you like or talk to a quality independent wine retailer like Sheldon’s.

Why should I buy English wine when it costs more than a similar wine from another country?
As mentioned above, the best quality English wines rival wines from other regions at the same price point, so it is not always true that English wines cost more than similar wines from other countries. Also it is a tough job producing wine in this country. When we support the English wine makers by choosing their wines and visiting their vineyards we allow them to continue to produce wine and invest in the vineyards and wineries. As the vines in the vineyards mature the quality of the wine will continue to improve and with higher volume production the prices should become more competitive. With climate change causing havoc across many of the traditional wine growing regions, now could be the time to invest in the long term future of English wines.

Why not use English Wine Week as an excuse to try something different this weekend?  We will have a bottle of one of our favourites open in the shop on Saturday for those of you who pop in and want to try before you buy.

Amanda x

Here’s our list of personal favourites from the English shop selection:

Amanda – Digby NV Leander Pink (rose sparkling wine, £32 a bottle). Great for it’s combination of fresh fruit flavours, balanced acidity and a long finish. Perfect for this hot weather.

Trish – Lyme Bay Shoreline (still white, £15.95 a bottle). Well made English white with Bacchus and Seyval Blanc which has characteristics between Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. This blend is like a well made Sauvignon, but not from France or New Zealand.

Shane – Nyetimber 2014 Blanc de Blancs (sparkling brut, £49 a bottle). While we have better quality English sparklers, I think this wine represents great value for money, even when placed against Champagnes at the same price point. It has a distinct taste, perhaps a proper definition of English wine.

Carol – Lyme Bay Pinot Noir Rose (still rose, £17.95 a bottle). Because Carol loves a slightly off dry rose!

Come in and pick up a bottle or two of English wine – if you havent tried it yet you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Father’s Day – a final reminder

I’m sure you don’t need reminding, but hey, here it is anyway.
Remember – the best Father’s Day gifts either fit in a toolbox or come in a bottle. We are here for you (for the latter).

New Ins

Of the greatest importance in the New Ins this week is the delivery of not one, not two, not even three, but four pallets of Sheldon’s Champagne. With challenges over supply we went as large as we were allowed with this order. I don’t suspect the newly-arrived two thousand plus bottles will last us through the remainder of the year but at least it gives us continuity for a few months. We are only receiving standard 75cl bottles now, no halves, magnums or jeros I’m afraid, which means we’ve got what we’ve got in these other format sizes in the shop, when they are gone they are gone.
Sheldon’s Champagne arriving in volume
New regulations on importing goods into the UK have necessitated the addition of a back label. This includes the name of the importer (Sheldon’s) which is the essential piece as far as customs is concerned. With the space available we have also included a brief description of the Champagne. We also have a simpler foil and collar. All in all it looks a touch more modern. Rest assured it is the same juice in the bottle, produced by our longstanding friends at H Blin in Vincelles, just west of Epernay.
Inevitably costs have increased with the new label. We have also been subject to fuel surcharges and other levied costs. However, our commitment to holding the price for a full twelve month cycle remains firm. £24.95 a bottle until the end of 2022 or until stocks run out (if we cannot get any more).
We also have the arrival of the latest edition of Jacquesson’s 7-series Champagne:
Jacquesson 745 (£65) – based on the 2017 vintage
Just a few other New Ins this week, mostly building on our Italian presence. For those keen on new releases, we have just received our enormous (24 bottle) allocation of Tignanello 2019. Here goes:
2021 Guado al Tasso Vermentino di Bolgheri (£21.75)
2019 Tormaresco Pietrabianca (£27.50)

2019 Poggio alle Nane Le Mortelle (£67.50)
2018 Prunotto Barbera Pian Romualdo (£26.95)

….and the big boys…
2020 Cervaro della Sala (£69.50) – Antinori’s top flight Chardonnay. Grab it while you can. We only have 12 bottles.

2019 Tignanello (£140/bt) – amazing Sangiovese blended with Bordeaux varietals, this is considered one of the top super Tuscans. We also have limited stocks of 2018 (£140) and a little 2009 and 2008, some with damaged labels but otherwise perfect (both £150 a bottle, please ask).

Car’s the Star

Imagine the moment when these two cars pulled into the car park late one Saturday afternoon. I was almost beside myself. So exciting to have non-identical twins at the shop. I think I was way more excited than the owners. The cars of course need no introduction – Land Rovers the pair. Both Defenders, both 90s. The origins of this model date back to 1984. Seeing them in the car park reminded me that during lockdown I said we would have a Land Rover event in the car park when we were allowed to play again. I’ll come up with a date and we’ll get you all to pop over.
A big thanks to Angus and Charlie for co-ordinating your visits (by accident), almost a matching pair.
That will do for this evening. Hopefully you are sitting in a garden somewhere enjoying a nice glass of something cold. That’s what I will be doing in about 15 minutes. Amanda, Trish and I will be here at the shop tomorrow. As the forecast is for a change in the weather why not use the time to pop by and pick out a few nice bottles to see you through the weekend. The sun and heat returns next week and we will soon be in full summer.


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

Your Land-Rover-loving, Tignanello-admiring, English-wine-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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