Covid-19 Policy

Wisteria, DotW, Capion, Labels, Hot Weather Wines and Car’s the Star

Some fun articles in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times, including Amanda’s top advice for drinking in the hot weather. We have a smashing DotW, we are giving you advance notice of an in-store tasting a week tomorrow, we have a superb tasting note and a couple of lovely cars. No New Ins tonight (well actually we have had some, but I am saving them for next week’s email). Press on.

The best Wisteria in Shipston?

I am sure those local to Shipston will already know this house well. In May it is simply dripping with Wisteria flowers. When passing I couldn’t help taking a picture of it. As it turns out, the residents are both keen customers of Sheldon’s so had little problem agreeing for the photo to make an appearance in Sheldon’s Times.
Many thanks to both Susan and Glyn for the permission. Keep up the amazing gardening work, the place looks lovely (and I have yet to see the back garden) and we look forward to seeing how your sunflowers are getting on.

Dog of the Week

Here’s Sienna, a smart little fluffball. Lovely temperament, well-mannered and rather photogenic. She spent quite a while in the shop whilst we sorted out some bits for her owner. She was quite happy having the occasional treat and milling around the counter area.
Thank you to James for bringing her over to spend some time with us – welcome any time. A proper pocket-sized furry friend.

Wines for hot weather

While we have been sweating in the shop, Amanda thought you might like a little guidance on what type of wine to drink in the hot weather. Here goes.
This week has certainly been a scorcher and many of you have been looking for suitable wine recommendations to quench your thirst. Here are our top tips for pleasurable wine drinking during the warmer weather.

1. Avoid higher alcohol wines. High alcohol wines have more body and are less refreshing than lighter bodied wines. Coupled with dehydration from perspiring more than usual, they will make you drunk faster and are likely to give you a headache fairly quickly. Wines that are lower in alcohol (under 13% abv ) are lighter in body and won’t make you as sleepy!  As a general rule, wines that come from cooler climates are lower in alcohol than those that come from hot countries, and white wines are usually lower in alcohol than reds.
2. If you like your wine to be cold, choose wines with plenty of flavour. Not all wines respond well to being chilled as it can suppress the lovely fruit flavours. Select white wines which have intense fruit flavours as these will taste best once the wines are chilled. Lightly flavoured wines can be a bit dull once chilled.
3. Sparkling wines love being chilled – the bubbles are smaller, last longer and the sparkle makes them extra refreshing. Look for good quality  fizz with lots of flavour – be it Prosecco, Cava, Crémant, English sparkling wine or Champagne.
4. Some red wines taste great chilled! Most don’t, as the tannin in red wine tastes harsher and more bitter if the wine is chilled. Reds with light tannins (such as Beaujolais, red Burgundy, Valpolicella or Loire Valley Cabernet Franc ) can be served lightly chilled as they come from grapes with thin skins and lighter tannins and are refreshing and fruity. Most rosé wines have light tannins – the paler the rose, the lighter the tannins.

So, taking the above factors into account, my recommendations for enjoying in hot weather wines are as follows:

Sparkling wines – Any of the English Sparkling wines as they are light in body, yet have lots of lovely fruit flavour. Gusbourne, Nyetimber and Lyme Bay are all great warm weather wines. If you are feeling very brave, we have a sparkling Aussie Shiraz, Miss Molly, which is served chilled. Just make sure that you are having it with a  plateful of barbeque food though as it’s a humdinger!
Whites – Any of our Rieslings, Sauvignon Blancs or Albarino varieties.
Chilled Reds – Fleurie or Beaujolais Villages, Les Petits Grains Cabernet Franc, Joseph Drouhin La Foret Bourgogne Pinot Noir,  Allegrini Valpolicella.
Rose – This really is the perfect time to drink rose. It doesn’t really matter which  – choose the one that suits your sweetness preference and consider if you are eating or just enjoying a drink in the sun.
Whatever you are doing over the summer holidays we have a great range of wines for any occasion and are always delighted to help you chose wines which suit your taste and budget.

Amanda x

In-store Event – Chateau Capion – Saturday 31st July

I am delighted to announce that we will have Howard Laughton, Director of Capion UK here at the shop on Saturday 31st July. We first came across Chateau Capion around 18 months ago, were blown away by the quality/price ratio of their wines and have stocked them ever since.
Chateau Capion is based in the Languedoc, in southwest France. The Chateau and estate dates back to the 16th century, but it is in more recent times that a new level of vitality has come to the estate. The current owners arrived in 2016 and brought immediate improvements in both vineyard management and winery operations. The estate achieved certified organic status in 2020, having completed a 3 year conversion exercise. Vines grown on the estate are predominantly Rhone varietals (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre for reds, Roussane, Viognier and Bourboulenc for whites), yields are kept low (20-25 hectolitres per hectare), grapes are sorted by hand, vinification of the different varieties is conducted separately in a gravity fed winery and only the very best wines end up in the final blends.
The range of wines that we hold from the estate is straightforward: two reds, two whites and a rose. The first wines are simply labelled Chateau Capion, of which there is a red and a white (£38 a bottle). The red is a blend of Syrah (60%), Grenache (30%) and Mourvedre (10%) and shows real fruit intensity. The white is similarly a Rhone-style blend with Roussanne (45%), Viognier (30%) and Bourboulenc (15%) with blossom on the nose and a peachy, buttery palate with a touch of spice.
The second wines are labelled Le Chemin des Garennes. A red and a white are produced (both £18 a bottle), the red includes a dash of Cinsault to add perfume, the white is 90% Roussanne, the remainder Bourboulenc and is a lighter version of the first wine. The team also make a rose, called Zefir, which is unusually 60% Syrah, 40% Grenache and is the first wine to be released under the new organic status. This is a gourmet rose, can be served on its own but also works with food. Best served cool rather than cold to get the full benefit of the aromas and flavours.
Howard will be here at the shop from 10.30am on Saturday 31st July, available to talk about the Chateau, the wines and perhaps pour a glass or two. Save the date, drop in and say hello and try some of the wines. I am sure you will be as impressed as we have been. I am certainly looking forward to trying all of the wines together. Get here early to avoid me getting drunk.

What’s in a label?

Amanda has written a fun little article on her recent project. Have a read!
This week we have been having a small celebration as I have finally completed reticketing every bottle in the shop. As part of our drive to improve the experience for our lovely customers, we decided to provide neater and more comprehensive description labels for each bottle. I can’t say that it was a totally pleasurable experience – mainly due to the newly stuck label holders which have an annoying habit of unsticking and pinging off – much to the amusement of Esther and Shane.
As part of the process I have rewritten the descriptions of over 600 wines and spirits. As we have tried most of the wines in the shop (!) this is not too difficult, but some of the more obscure wines need a bit of research. Reading wine descriptions can be bewildering and highly entertaining, and occasionally really annoying. I found myself having a debate recently about why it was unacceptable to describe a wine as ‘slutty’…
In our quest to find some of the most inappropriate wine descriptions Shane discovered a whole website dedicated to “the crappest tasting note of the year”.  Happily, none of mine were on there, but I’m sharing the winning entry with you, just for fun  – a description of Krug’s Clos du Mesnil 2006. The author is, sadly, anonymous.

Crappest Tasting Note of the Year
‘A wonderful colour, diamond bright, frost catching the earliest light, still-life pewter, tension already writ in sermons of flinty stone and an excited effervescence. Peach kernel, mid-morning honeysuckle, orchard fruit just harvested, crushed almond and soft spice; a soloist does not need to be monochrome. The palate is youthful, of course, disciplined yet self-assured, all the vigour of the vintage held back, tightly wound yet ludic. A flirtatious cadenza, hints of exotic fruit, and even lightly buttered toast, hinting at the path we should follow, footfalls echoing in the memory, down the passage to the walled vineyard. 98 points’

(Ed’s Note: What’s wrong with that tasting note? When I had Clos du Mesnil 06 the other week it tasted exactly like the note above…..)

Car’s the Star

The strangest things happen here at the shop. It was one Wednesday afternoon, just before closing time when there was a roar in the carpark and these two beasties turned up. A Ferrari Portofino and a Lamborghini Huracan. Who would have thought it?
It was a whistle-stop visit, mostly to swap over drivers. The owner (of both cars) ran into the shop, bought a bottle of wine (Belleville Pucelles 1er Cru, a fine choice), then the engines started up and they left as quickly as they arrived. No names, a modest amount of chat, but lovely to see all the same.
That’s it for tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. The forecast is for slightly cooler weather tomorrow with it hotting up again on Sunday and Monday. Trish and I will be here tomorrow to serve you with a smile, Amanda will be running a Level 1 WSET course down in the cellars. Whatever your plans are, have a super weekend.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Sienna-loving, hot-weather-enduring, Capion-tasting wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, COVID, EUROs, Guest Beer, Brexit, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Seems we are in for a spell of good weather – about time. Trish is talking about getting the barbecue out this weekend! Sounds serious. I’d better choose some barbecue wines.
Tonight we have a first – a single-owner dog and car edition of Sheldon’s Times. Amanda has written her final word on the EUROs (thank goodness) and as some of you have asked, we have written an article about the implications on the business thus far as a result of Brexit. Only read if you are interested. One article I would ask you to pay attention to is the Covid Procedures Update – we will continue to wear masks in the shop, you do not need to but may we ask that you are respectful of others that choose to. We have a couple of New Ins and a new Guest Beer to top things off. On you go.

Dog(s) of the Week

Say hello to Minnie and Ellie! Two lovely spaniels that popped into the shop last week. It was a job taking the photo, the pair wouldn’t sit still. That’s spaniels for you.
A big thank you to Michelle and John for bringing them both in…not in the Porsche (see below).

Cellar Tour Restart – Sat 7th August

We will be running our Cellar Tour event on the 7th August, 2-4pm. This will be the first event we have run since the start of the pandemic. The price is £20 per head, which includes a glass of nice cold fizz, a quick tour of the premises and chat about the history followed by a fun, informal tasting of 4 wines. Places are still available, if you’d like a fun afternoon out then call us on 01608 661409 and book a place or two. Full refunds will be given in the event of us not being able to go ahead, no question.

COVID Procedures Update at Sheldon’s

Next week sees the relaxation of Government rules relating to COVID19. While the legal requirements are changing, at the time of writing the recommendations appear to be in favour of the continued use of face masks in confined spaces, including shops. From talking to you, our customers, there appears to be a mixed response to the rule changes. This is understandable when we consider some of us are considered more vulnerable to the effects of the virus than others. Here at the shop we (meaning those of us who ‘work’ here) will continue to wear masks when customers are in the shop. It will be at your discretion whether you wear a mask or not. All I would ask is that out of respect for others, if you choose not to wear a mask and see other customers wearing masks in the shop please be mindful, observe social distancing measures and be patient. Hand sanitiser will remain available, please feel free to use it.
We will of course continue to monitor the situation in the local area and if we feel case numbers in and around Shipston are increasing too quickly we may re-instigate the wearing of masks for all customers in the shop. This will be done to protect both you and the people who work at the shop. Here’s hoping we don’t end up there.
EUROs Final Instalment
I did warn you that Amanda might want to have a last say on the football. Here it is.
The football may have finished, but if you are missing the excitement and want to finish the ‘game’ with me:

This week, every time you think back to last Sunday’s result, have a large gulp of whatever comes to hand quickest with an abv above 40%. I’m finding that the Nikka from the Barrel Japanese Whisky at 51.41% is quite effective.
I’m now preparing for the Olympics….

Amanda x

Guest Beer – YONDER Sub Culture

We have decided to introduce a guest beer every couple of weeks. We will bring in limited quantities of each beer, pop them on the shelf, announce the arrival in Sheldon’s Times and see how you get on with them. There is also the added benefit of Amanda and I having to try each beer as it comes in – usually the last thing we do on a Friday evening.

The first guest beer is YONDER’s Sub Culture (£3.75).
Yonder Brewing is a modern farmhouse brewery based in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. They describe themselves as having three passions: foraging, flavour and fermentation. As well as good ‘standard’ beers, ales and lagers they also brew sours. We’ll give one of the sour beers a try soon, but for today we thought we’d start the Guest Beer series with a well made Pale Ale.

This mixed fermentation pale ale is made using British grown Jester and Olicana hops and has been finished with a little Brett fermentation to add extra complexity and flavour. Regular readers may remember a previous article about Brett (Brettanomyces, a naturally occurring yeast that adds savoury flavours to beer and wine). We’ve just tried it here in the shop. It has a distinct tropical fruit nose, on the palate it has a lovely fresh, zesty zing to it. We think it is delicious. I think Amanda is taking one home.

Brexit and the Wine Market – the view from the independent merchant

To say it has been ‘interesting’ to observe the effects of our departure from the EU from the standpoint of an independent wine merchant is an understatement. We have seen both immediate changes in the supply chain and some changes that have taken longer to appear. None of the changes so far have brought benefits to the way in which we operate.

Additional paperwork associated with bringing goods into the UK: while duty and VAT rates in the UK have not changed, the requirement for the production of extra paperwork to bring goods into the UK from the EU has placed an extra burden on the supply chain.

Additional security and import checks at the border: necessary checks and security at the border is having the inevitable impact on timescales for bringing goods into the UK.

There have also been a number of indirect consequences of Brexit in the supply chain, the one that is hitting us the hardest is the shortage of drivers and equipment (containers) to bring wine into the UK.

All of the above issues are driving costs up which we are seeing across all methods of us buying wine. Where we are bringing wine in direct we are being charged more to import the wine than last year; when we buy wine in the established UK wholesale market our buy prices are rising as others strive to cover their increased costs and maintain margins.

Unfortunately the costs are not restricted to EU goods only. Anything coming to the UK through the EU is also affected.

Our commitment to you, our loyal customer base, is only to raise prices when there is a direct increase in our purchase costs. We are not interested in using Brexit as a method of increasing margins. We also recognise that buying wine is almost exclusively a discretionary purchase and we want you to obtain the best possible service combined with great prices. We will do our best to absorb or mitigate as many of the additional costs as possible, but some price rises are inevitable as we continue with Brexit implementation. The most likely time for rises will be the arrival of a new vintage or new wines to the shop.

Thankfully we have a fair amount of stock that was purchased before these additional costs were levied, so we will be able to maintain prices across many lines for some time. Stocks of older vintage wines are mostly purchased in the UK and their price is determined by the market rather than transportation and customs clearance costs. The prices of these wines should not be affected in the short to mid term.

We appreciate your continued support while we all work out the long term implications of Brexit. I hope things will get better as the supply chain adjusts to the new ways of working, I’d like to think some of these additional costs will drop out, but time will tell.

New Ins

We’ve been busy restocking core lines this week so not a lot of New Ins this week, although some of you party-types might be interested in:

2005 Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste ((Pauillac) DOUBLE MAGS (£500/DM)

I might have stumbled across a magnum of 2013 Y de Yquem if anyone is interested, in perfect original packaging (please enquire otherwise it is heading home). And we have just received our full allocation (12 bottles!) of Cantine Nervi (from Giacomo Conterno) ‘Il Rosato’ 2020 – £25. 11 bottles left.

Car’s the Star

I think it is a first that we have had both a DotW and a Car’s the Star belonging to the same owner in the same edition of Sheldon’s Times. But here we have it. Being a long-term Porsche-lover, Michelle has recently treated herself to this rather nice 911 convertible. A gift to herself, and as a director of nursing who has had to endure rather challenging times (a.k.a. hell) over the last 18 months, I think she deserves it.
Thank you Michelle for bringing both dogs and car to see us and a big thank you for all that you have done for all of us throughout the pandemic.
That completes another edition of Sheldon’s Times. We are set for a scorcher this weekend – perhaps summer has finally arrived? Certainly feels like rose weather – now where did I put that bottle of Il Rosato?
Oh, and don’t forget World Shiraz Day next Thursday 22nd July – we know how much you love International grape variety days (not). As usual we have lots if you are looking for an excuse to drink. Who needs one of those?
Amanda, Trish and I will be here as usual to meet your every wine, beer and spirit-related need tomorrow. Drop in and say hello. Not even the dogs here bite. Whatever you are up to, have a wonderful weekend.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Minnie-and-Ellie-loving, guest-beer-enjoying, rose-hopeful wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, Memorabilia, Footie, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Seems we are still in the football competition. Who would have thought it? Amanda has provided us with a updated, simpler version of her game for Sunday. This is good news, I think we might need things as straightforward as possible on the night.
The usual raft of articles tonight. We have received yet another item of memorabilia. Lots of lovely New Ins (if you don’t buy the mags of Allees you are missing out) including some v. old Claret for those who fancy taking a punt. Interesting bottles, I will certainly be trying one each of the ’85s. And a smart car too. On you go.

Dog of the Week

First up an Editors apology. Last week we had Hector the Labrador. I should have explained that Hector the Labrador was of course not Hector The Glorious Victorious, last year’s Dog of the Year. Hector TGV was a little upset (to say the least) when he saw the ‘new’ Hector in last week’s Sheldon‘s Times. I think he might be worried that the new Hector is vying for position of ‘Top Dog’. Nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. I think both Hectors should be a little worried, because here is Bea. Isn’t she cute? And so much better behaved.
Many thanks to Claire for bringing Bea to see us. Game on!

Shop Memorabilia – 1949 Price List

Another piece of Sheldon‘s history was delivered to the shop this week, this time an old price list dating from 1949. It fills a gap in our archive and is therefore a welcome addition to the lists we already have in the shop. Each one is different and represents the range of wines the shop held at that time and to a degree the state of the wine market. Coming not long after WWII, this list is far less comprehensive than the list we have from 1894.
If you look closely at the cover you can see the shop telephone number: Shipston-on-Stour 9 (9 is still the last digit in our phone number). And the main method of transport at that time was the train, so it is the train station listed on the book, not the address. Inside the book has many gems. Claret names are familiar (Calon Segur, Leoville Barton), Champagne prices are remarkably uniform (a bottle of Bollinger was the same price as a bottle of Lanson, a bottle of Perrier Jouet and even a bottle of Krug), Sanatogen makes an appearance as a ‘tonic wine’ and the most expensive bottle in the whole brochure is not the 1945 Chateau d’Yquem as you might expect (sold at the time for 30 shillings a bottle, current market value around £2900) but is Hennessy XO Cognac (65 shillings at the time, unable to provide current market value because it is a non-vintage product). I guess I am not that surprised. The brochure was printed at Beachus & Son, Old Road, Shipston on Stour. Many thanks to the lovely lady who brought it in (Annette? Apologies, I didn’t jot down your name). We might do some additional research on some of these documents and report back. And if any of you have other items of memorabilia relating to the shop (photos, price lists, maps etc) please do drop them in – they may earn you a bottle of wine!

Football Update – the FINAL!

Surely this has to be Amanda’s last piece on the footie?! I guess we might allow her one more go if the result is a decent one. But for now, here is the latest extension to the EUROs wine game.
Well – who’d have thought we’d have made it to the final? There must be something in this football and wine pairing that is paying off. I’m considering doing it for other sports to see if it has the same impact….
For Sunday’s final I am probably going to start before the match. I may even be sharing the wine this time as Shane has been a superstar and has managed to secure some Jeroboams of 2009 Nyetimber Classic Cuvee. That should take me up to half time. Then, as it’s a game of two halves, I am considering moving onto the Lyme Bay Pinot Noir Rose.
For the Italian side I shall be going for something big, fruity and gluggable  – so it’s got to be the Trastullo Primitivo.
As for our wine game, this time I’m going to simplify the rules (it was quite hard to keep up with the fouls, free kicks and corners on Wednesday night – I kept spilling my wine.)
The new rules
Pick one player from each side – preferably someone who isn’t going to be substituted early as that will curtail your drinking opportunities.
Every time they get the ball, you get to have a sip of the appropriate wine – unless England are losing, then have a big gulp. I’m choosing Raheem Sterling and Ciro Immobile. Fingers crossed. It may be coming home after all ….Amanda x
Wine of the week – Jancis Robinson’s, not ours!
“Our 967th wine of the week is a sweet sherry for only the most enlightened wine lovers” (RH)
Having just received my regular weekly report from Jancis, it is nice to see Richard Hemming’s write up of the JR Wine of the Week – Lustau’s East India Solera NV Sherry. As many of you know, we have been serious proponents of Lustau sherries for some time and East India is a big favourite. We have it in stock. If you want to read Richard’s write up you can find it here:
Richard Hemming’s write up on Lustau East India Sherry

New Ins

(We have been raiding the Nyetimber cellars again)
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009 release bottles (£50)
Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 2009 release Jeroboams (3 litres, 4 standard bottles, only 2 available, £278/Jero)White:
2019 Noel Saint Laurent Blanc Cotes du Rhone (£10.75)
2019 Vacheron Sancerre (£29)Reds:
(a couple of lovely old Clarets have just come in for those curious about what old wine really tastes like)
2019 Noel Saint Laurent Rouge Cotes du Rhone (£10.75)
2019 Noel Saint Laurent Rouge Cotes du Rhone Magnums (£22.95)
2016 Figuero 15 Ribera del Duero, Spain (£35/bt)
2015 Allees de Cantemerle (second wine of Ch. Cantemerle), bottles (£23) and mags (£50 – crazy I know so fill yer boots)
2010 Chasse Spleen mags (£105/mag)
2005 Pedesclaux Pauillac (£49/bt)
1985 Haut Batailley Pauillac (£75/bt)
1985 L’Enclos Pomerol (£80/bt)Other:
(for mixing, for cocktails, for sipping, for fun)

Creme de Cassis (£21.95)
Creme de Fraise des Bois (£21.95)
Creme de Framboise (£21.95)
Creme de Cacao (£25.50)
Creme de Cacao Blanc (£25.50)
Creme de Menthe Blanche (£25.50)
Sigognac VSOP Armagnac (£38.50)
Sigognac 10YO Armagnac (£48.50)
Clos Martin 1989 Armagnac (£69.50)
Kentucky Vintage Small Batch Bourbon (£54.95)
Glenmorangie 18 YO (£89.95)

Car’s the Star

Always a pleasure to see another Aston at the shop. It was early one Saturday morning when this lovely DB11 appeared, just before opening. What’s not to like about this car? Even the numberplate made me smile.
Many thanks to Andy for popping over and having a good chat, I’ll never get bored of seeing cars like these (and any others) at the shop. Keep them coming!
With a weekend of sport ahead of us it is time to plan your drinking and get down to the shop to select some lovely bottles. Amanda and I will be here tomorrow to assist you in finding the right wine for the occasion whether it be tennis, football or just some time in the garden. Whatever the weather, enjoy your weekends.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Bea-better-than-Hector question-asking, EURO-hopeful wine team at Sheldon‘s Wine Cellars

DotW, EUROs update, Squashed Sheldon’s, Riscal Spotlight, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Finally we have a little wine content in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times with an article on Marques de Riscal, one of the historic houses in Rioja, Spain. We have taken the plunge and brought in some of their best wines. I shall certainly be trying a bottle this weekend. We are also offering the gift of a fabulous book signed by the winemaker and 5th generation owner of Riscal to anyone who buys a mixed case of the wines – see below.
Seems England made it through the group stage of the footie so Amanda has updated her EUROs game, both in terms of drinking opportunity and the size of her bottle, we have a gorgeous DotW, an equally gorgeous Car’s the Star and Andy is still in the tennis so hit the strawberries and Champagne. On you go.

Dog of the Week

Say hello to Hector. My first memory of Hector was last summer when he visited the shop and we had Molly, the rather large St Bernard in. Hector is no Chihuahua himself and we are delighted that he has popped back a couple of times since, clearly unperturbed by the first experience. He has a real Labrador appetite, those eyes say “feed me, pleeease”!
A big thank you to Owen and Bill for bringing him in. Always welcome.

Football Fun – update

After Amanda’s piece last week on drinking whilst watching football we’ve had to revise our thinking a little. If you remember, Amanda was taking a half bottle of Lyme Bay Brut Reserve but she finished that in the first 10 minutes. Now that we are facing another big game tomorrow, she has decided to upgrade.
Yep, we have managed to prize just a few magnums of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee direct from the cellars of Nyetimber. Newer releases of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee are multi-vintage wines, but the older releases came from a single vintage. These beautiful big bottles hail from the near-perfect 2010 vintage and won’t be found in your average off-licence. £90 a mag. Remember, a goal, a shot at goal, a corner, a yellow or red card or a penalty – all of them earn you a gulp of something English. Good luck. Other English wines are available….as are English beers, ciders, gins, etc, etc.
Amanda has also sent me the following for you to add to drinking opportunity:

Football cliches to look out for during Saturday’s match to earn an extra large sip!

He gave 110%.
Your Linekers, Your Ronaldos, Your Messes etc.
A great advert for the game.
This game needs a goal.
Every game is a Cup Final now.
He’s a player with genuine pace.
He knows where the goal is.
Hits the back of the net.
He’s got something in the locker.
There are some tired legs out there. (Ed: questionable in an England match!)
Something out of nothing.
A game of 2 halves.

Amanda x

A squashed bottle of Champers!

A few months ago a nice couple were taking a look around the shop. I noticed the lady was paying particular attention to the bottles. After starting a conversation we discovered that the lady works with glass and was looking at the bottles to judge what could be done with them. She explained the process of heating and working with glass and as she talked I became increasingly engaged. At the end of the discussion I could not help myself – I dispatched the pair with a bottle of Sheldon’s finest (our Champagne of course) and then duly forgot about it.
On Wednesday this week the pair reappeared in the shop with a gift. The above bottle was opened and drank, then de-labelled and the rest of the paraphenalia was taken off. The bottles was then put in a kiln and heated until it collapsed in on itself. After cooling the label etc was reattached and the whole thing was beautifully wrapped and made ready for delivery. Thank you to Lorraine for taking the time to ‘squash’ one of our bottles (I think it is actually called ‘bottle slumping’), we will find a special place for it to hang in the shop. What fun – many thanks Lorraine!

Gifts for Teachers…

…we have a shop full of them. Enough said.

Spotlight on…Marques de Riscal Rioja

Many of you already know we are big fans of well-made Rioja at all price levels. We have been carrying the range of wines from Lopez de Haro for some time now. Their entry level Tempranillo (£9.95) is great, with the best value to be had with the 2015 Reserva (£13.50). We have also just taken delivery of a few bottles of their Gran Reserva (£21.50).  For the last couple of years we have been stocking the wines of La Rioja Alta (the favourite being ‘904’ Gran Reserva), we have Vina Tondonia from Lopez de Heredia, and a couple of new wave Rioja producers with Artadi and Sardonia, both of which have elected to step out of the DOC structure.
Today we are announcing a new selection of Riojas from the Herederos del Marques de Riscal. Founded in 1858 (16 years after Sheldon’s), Marques de Riscal claims to be the first house to put Rioja wine in a glass bottle for the 1962 vintage, until that point Rioja wine was transported by other means, commonly in the skin of a pig. In 1895 the wine of Riscal was the first non-French wine to win the Diplome d’Honneur at the Bordeaux Exhibition. Accolades and prizes continue right up to the present day. Riscal has many ties back to Bordeaux with winemaking techniques, knowledge education being shared across the Pyrenees. Bordeaux was more advanced in winemaking methods, especially in the 19th century so Rioja, and in particular Marques de Riscal benefitted from this transfer of know-how, leading modern winemaking in the region in many ways.
Marques de Riscal produces a comprehensive range of wines including whites, roses and reds. We are focusing on 4 red wines from the range, from the mid tier to the top.
2016 Finca Torrea (£30.95) – this is a modern Rioja with an up-to-date style, having spent less time in barrel and bottle than the other three wines. It is made from a blend of Tempranillo and Graciano grapes from an old vineyard cultivated in the Finca de Torrea estate. The style is elegant and fresh, while still having depth and intensity which comes from the high quality of the fruit. Relatively easy to pair with meats and poultry dishes.

2016 XR Special Reserva (£31.95) – the XR denomination comes from the barrel markings used historically to indicate wines showing special characteristics that were not present in other barrels. These wines became the ‘winemakers wines’ and were not released commercially. The custom of holding XR wines in the cellar was a practice that ran from 1869 to 1964, the barrels being reference for the master winemaker. The first official release of XR was the 2015 vintage. We have the 2016 vintage which pays hommage to all the master winemakers of Riscal.

2010 150th Anniversario Gran Reserva (£62.95) – made only in the best vintages with grapes from vines in Alavesa with a minimum age of 80 years. Described as a genuine expression of Rioja, this wine sees 32 months in French oak barrels before spending a further 3 years in bottle in the Riscal cellars before being released to the market. This is classically styled Rioja with great intensity and flavour. Good for roasts, red meats, game and mature cheeses.

2015 Baron de Chirel Reserva (£79.95) – blending together modernity with classical styles, 1986 was the first vintage release of this wine. It was a response to the demand for high quality Riojas from an increasingly discerning customer base. The wine brings together the historic winemaking techniques brought from the many Bordeaux influences from the early days of Riscal with 20th century winemaking technology and resources. Old vines, low yields, hand sorting and Allier oak barrels all add to the quality of this wine. Top notch.

Herederos del Marques de Riscal have very generously sent us a copy of a recently released book: Marques de Riscal – A Travel Through Time – written by Andrew Caillard MW. This is a comprehensive work on Rioja and the part that Riscal has played in it. Our copy is signed by Francisco Hurtado de Amezaga, the Head Winemaker at Riscal and the 5th generation of the founding family of the house. The book is inscribed “Thank you for supporting Marques de Riscal” and we are offering the book free of charge to the first purchaser of a mixed case of the above wines (3 bottles of each) as a recognition of your support. Just one copy available. Mixed case of 12 bottles comes in at £617.40. The book is priceless.

Other New Ins

A few New Ins to add to the lovely Riojas:

2010 Nyetimber Classic Cuvee Magnums (£90) – as per the Footie article above, this is an earlier single-vintage bottling of Classic Cuvee from what has turned out to be one of the best vintages in recent times for English winemaking.
2013 Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs (£49) – after tasting this with Nyetimber it was a clear “must-have” in the shop. Delicious and in my view a bargain.

2017 Joseph Drouhin Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Embazees Magnums (£185) – Embazees is a vineyard on the southern tip of Chassagne and has always impressed me with its ripe fruit. Delighted to have a few mags of this in from the great 2017 vintage.

2020 Zefir rose (£18) – made by the talented team at Chateau Capion in Southwest France
2020 Artadi IGO Organic rose Magnums (£29 per mag) – from the Artadi stable this is affordable drinking rose in large format.

As per our article above, we have the following new wines in from Marques de Riscal:
2016 Marques de Riscal Finca Torrea (£30.95)
2016 Marques de Riscal XR Special Reserva (£31.95)
2010 Marques de Riscal 150th Anniversario Gran Reserva (£62.95)
2015 Marques de Riscal Baron de Chirel Reserva (£79.95)

….and finally….

Severn Brewing Ltd English IPA 440ml cans (£2.95) – a new beer for us to try.

Car’s the Star

This week’s car brings back fond memories for me. As soon as it appeared in the car park I said “Is that a pre-1972 stacked headlight Mercedes Benz 280SL?” and indeed it was. I was lucky enough to have a ride in one in the early nineties and I have never forgotten it. The car made such an impression then, now it looks even better. What a joy.
Many thanks to Tim for bringing it to see us on one of its rare outings. And you have done a smashing job on the restoration. An enjoyable trip down memory lane, such perfect lines.
With a weekend of much sport ahead of us, it is time to close Sheldon’s Times. Whether you are watching the footie, the tennis, the horse racing or anything else, enjoy it with a glass of something reasonable. Tomorrow Amanda, Trish and I will be here to serve you with anything you may need. Saturday weather looks set to be OK until much later on, Sunday is possibly a wash out. Whatever you are up to, have a wonderful weekend.

Shane, Amanda, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Hector-loving, bottle-slumping, Rioja-drinking wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

Clematis, DotW, EUROs, Sunflowers, Ginger, Top Fan, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Ok, I recognise it is a long title, but we always seem to have something to say by the time we get to Friday afternoon. Today’s Sheldon‘s Times is mostly fun, with a tiny bit of wine/liqueur content in the middle somewhere. I particularly like Amanda’s suggestion of a wine-related game whilst watching the footie. That has to make it more interesting. And we have another competition emerging with our new-found social media presence – who can be the biggest Sheldon‘s fan? Enough….press on.

Clematis in bloom

The Clematis took a brutal chopping earlier this year, Trish wanted to clear it all away. Thankfully we know it responds well to this aggressive treatment and true to form it started shooting up almost immediately after it was butchered. It is now in bloom with plenty of buds that should keep us going for a while yet. And the Hydrangeas in the pots are beginning to flower too, despite getting nipped by a late frost.
This weekend Carol and Trish will be tidying up the planters in front of the shop and putting in some Geraniums and Dahlias that Carol has been nursing at home. Lots of colour to come.

Dog of the Week

Say hello to Juno and Freya, two excitable visitors to the shop in the middle of May. It was a job to keep the pair still for long enough to take the obligatory photo. What a lovely duo, very much in need of a biscuit or two.
Many thanks to Richard and Becky for bringing them in to see us. Such lovely beasties. A coincidence that we should also see you all today too. Thank you.

Football Fun!

Amanda has written this next article. I didn’t have her down as a footie specialist but every day is a school day…unless of course she is just using it as a means of drinking more wine!. Read on…

Is it just me who is finding watching England’s football matches a tad dull in this Euros competition? To spice things up a bit I’ve started to challenge myself by selecting a wine from each of the countries playing and have a wine-based competition at the same time.  This was too challenging in the early rounds. We don’t stock any wines from Czech Republic, Scotland or Croatia (maybe we should?….)

Now that we have made it to the second round, things are getting easier to pair. It has made me think that there could be a correlation between the best wine producing countries and their ability to play football. Here are the rules:

1. Pour a glass of wine from each of the countries playing.

2. Take a small sip from the relevant glass each time there is either a shot at goal or a corner.

3. Take a large gulp from the relevant glass for a penalty, a goal scored or a red card awarded.

Based on our performance so far I’m not anticipating that I’m going to get through much English wine, but I’m going to need to select my German one quite carefully as I could be consuming quite a lot!

The kick-off on Tuesday for the England vs Germany game is at 5.00pm. My selection will be a Lyme Bay Sparkling Brut Reserve from England (a half bottle should be ample!) and a Johner 2016 Pinot Noir from Germany.

Please feel to join in and let us know which wines you have selected. I hope we get to play Italy soon…

Amanda x

Sunflower Competition Update

From the photos I am receiving it seems some of you are having more success than others with their sunflowers. I think Alfie and Ronnie are in the driving seat at the moment, they are feeding theirs with tomato feed and the occasional glass of vintage port. Trish’s aren’t far behind.
Maria’s on the other hand are not looking too tall – she is complaining that we might have given her dwarf seeds. We wouldn’t do that, would we?!

The King’s Ginger – new bottle, new drink!

We have been stockists of The King’s Ginger for donkey’s years. The perfect winter warmer, the original product apparently dates back to 1903 when the doctor of Edward VII asked Berry Bros and Rudd to create a drink to warm the King. The ‘old’ bottling weighed in at a decent 41% alcohol, making it an ideal Christmas mixer. Some use it for medicinal purposes.
Berry Bros and Rudd have decided to bring The King’s Ginger up to date, with a modern (and rather attractive in my opinion) new bottle. The liquid inside has been held at a more modest alcohol level of 29% and a twist of zesty lemon has given the juice a lift. This makes it more accessible as a sipper and a great additive to cocktails.
We have just received our stash of new bottles and have a handful (no more, and no more will be sourced) of the old bottling too. If you are a fan, now is the time to buy a bottle or two and start to experiment. Personally I have one of each of the bottlings at home, both useful for different occasions. They are priced the same at £22.99.
We also have the return of Berry Bros and Rudd award-winning No.3 Gin. We sold out of this a while ago so we are delighted to have it back in the shop (£36.50).

Top Sheldon‘s Fan

It has been great fun watching your (and non-Sheldon‘s-Times-readers) response to the publication of some of our material on social media channels. One trade magazine picked up on the Badger Gin article thinking it was serious. When we explained it was a spoof they thought it was even better, it may appear in a trade mag at some point in the near future. You all spotted it was a spoof, right?

Anyway, we have a leading fan of Sheldon‘s Times on social. How do we know this? Because we have seen the following on their phone…..

Being as social-media minded as I am, I didn’t even know such badges existed. You live and learn. Of course I cannot divulge who our top fan is…and before you ask, it is not me!

New Ins

A short and relatively sedate list of New Ins this week:
White (dry):
2019 Joseph Drouhin Macon Bussieres (£17.95, new vintage, the 2018 has run out)
Today we conducted a blind tasting of the last bottle of Drouhin Macon Bussieres 2018 against the first bottle of 2019. The results were unanimous, every taster preferred the new vintage. It has riper fruit, more weight on the palate and a greater level of intensity. Many thanks to Charlie, Tim, Debs, Jackson and Dougie for participating in the taste-off. A worthwhile exercise indeed.
2014 Domaine Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon MAGNUMS (£450/mag)White (sweet):
2007 Chateau Rieussec HALVES (£25/half)Red:
16 Stops Shiraz, Australia (£9.50, a replacement for the now-unavailable Lehmann Wildcard, thanks to Mr and Mrs T for helping us select the wine out of an international Shiraz/Syrah line up)
2009 Chateau Potensac, Bordeaux (£42)

Next week I am looking forward to announcing some smashing wines from Spain, for which we are planning a mixed case offer to see if we can entice you to try them. Good fun.

Car’s the Star

Ok, I know we’ve had this wonderful Morris 8 as Car’s the Star in a previous edition of Sheldon‘s Times but it was nice to see it make another appearance at the shop just a week ago. Such a smashing car for the occasional journey into town. Plenty of space for shopping or an overnight bag. And proper front doors that open the right (wrong) way for easier access.
Many thanks to Peter and Pam for bringing it over to see us. Such a treat, I will never get bored of it, please don’t stop coming….
That’s it for tonight’s edition of Sheldon‘s Times. The weather this week has been somewhat mixed at best. Here’s hoping for more sunshine over the weekend. As usual, Trish, Amanda and I will be here tomorrow to meet your wine-related needs. And we’ve restocked the doggie-biscuit stash so no shortages for your furry friends. See some of you tomorrow.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your Juno-and-Freya-loving, Ginger-drinking, social-media-savvy wine team at Sheldon‘s Wine Cellars

Irises, DotW, Father’s Day, English WW, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Something for everyone in tonight’s Sheldon‘s Times, whether you are a plant-lover, a Dad-lover, an England-lover, a Port-lover or a car-lover. And if you are none of the above, we also have some lovely new bottles of wine in. No point in hanging around, read on…

Irises in bloom (v2)

Earlier this year I posted a picture of our beautify bright blue dwarf irises that came out in the early spring. Now it is time for the early summer irises which I believe are Dutch irises – they grow from a bulb rather than a rhizome and are non-bearded types. We have two different colours in the garden, both of which always surprise me with their display at this time of year.
Sadly they are just going over now, making way for more summer flowers to push through. Trish has done her “Chelsea chop” to extend the flowering season of certain varietals. The much-needed wet weather of today will give all of our plants a refreshing boost for the weeks to come. No moaning about the rain.

Dog(s) of the Week

A long-overdue photo of Amy and Moss, two wonderful working dogs. They were so polite they didn’t want to come into the shop with muddy feet. We caught them in the early morning sun in the car park, ready to round up any passing sheep.
Thank you Nigel for bringing them along – next time bring Jester too, then we can have the full set in one picture. Maybe we could borrow a wooly pig or two and do a sheepdog trial in the carpark?

English Wine Week: 19th – 27th June 2021

Our ever-enthusiastic Amanda has written the below article on English wine in recognition of the fact that England are going to beat Scotland this evening, errr, I mean in recognition of the fact that English Wine Week starts tomorrow. When is Scottish Wine Week? In all seriousness, the quality of English wine, both still and sparkling has improved almost immeasurably over the last 10 years and the wines produced here regularly win awards against the very best from around the world. This week ahead is the perfect time to try a bottle or two.
English Wine Week is a midsummer affair this year, from 19th to 27th June.
There is no better time to drink English wine. Most of the varieties that grow well in our climate produce light, aromatic wines – perfect for sultry afternoons and celebrating football victories!
It can be a tough life being a wine maker in England. Erratic weather conditions are just one of the many difficulties they face. Many wine producing countries get investment from the government to help with equipment and production costs. Other regions have co-operatives who band together to share resources. In England, most producers do it for love, with very little financial or practical support. There is an increasing number of English wine producers who have managed to get financial backing to invest in the knowledge, expertise and equipment and who have been doing it long enough to grow good quality grapes and make consistently great wines.
In a cool region like ours, the best wines are those that are made from grapes that like our climate. If you have never tried the grape varieties Bacchus, Madeline Angevine, and Seyval, give them a go. Expect wines which are reminiscent of English hedgerows and meadows – full of floral and grassy aromas with citrus, apple and pear flavours. Warmer temperatures over the past few summers  have also resulted in ripe crops of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, allowing great examples of these wines as single varietal still wines and in sparkling wine blends to be produced.

Vines in Devon for Lyme Bay Winery

At Sheldon’s we know that you like consistently good wines so the English wines that we sell are selected for their quality and consistency. Lyme Bay Winery wines are from Devon’s Axe Valley. We stock white, rose and sparkling wines from their range, which we all love in the shop. Gusbourne and Nyetimber are now recognised world wide for their finesse and quality. A chilled glass of Gusbourne rosé is the perfect way to start off English Wine Week – and that’s exactly what I’m going to be drinking on Friday evening whilst pretending to watch the football… (For the Scots amongst you, we also have a great selection of single malt whisky!)
Amanda x
Father’s Day – final reminder!
Last week we gave you advance warning of Father’s Day. This week it is Final Warning! Father’s Day is on Sunday, if you haven’t got your beloved Dad a decent bottle of something then tomorrow is the time. We have a wide variety of goodies, from wine, through spirits to Ports and lots more besides. And if nothing catches your eye, buy a gift card and your Pop can come in and choose something for himself. Get on it.
Old, very old Port.
We had the opportunity to taste something very special recently, Amanda has done a little write-up for you.

What does a 125 year old wine taste like?

Working in a wine shop is (sometimes) the best job in the world. This week we were lucky enough to experience a taste of something with 125 years on the clock – a single vintage tawny port from Taylors, from grapes harvested in 1896. We were sent enough for around a tablespoon each to try. A deep caramel colour with an olive green tint at the edge, the wine was still clear and very viscous. The aromas were amazing – so intense that you could smell them from 2 metres away, even wearing a face mask! Unlike a vintage ruby port, which matures in the bottle, tawny port is aged in large old oak casks called pipes. This wine originally started out maturing in 18 pipes and due to the gradual evaporation over the years, the remaining wine was condensed into just 2 pipes! The wine is now so concentrated that the aromas, flavours and alcohol are extremely intense.

With flavours of raisins, dried fig, coffee, toffee, butterscotch, whisky and a touch of dusty oak, the finish goes on and on. This wine is reminiscent of a cross between an old fashioned cough remedy and a whisky. It is intense, complex and incredible. A teaspoon was probably enough, but what an amazing experience to taste something so old.
Amanda x
At the time Amanda wrote the above we had yet to receive the retail price of this incredible port. Wait for it. A cool £3950 a bottle, presented in a decanter as in the picture above. We have a tiny allocation available, if any of you are interested please let me know soonest. Gary – bet you are glad you popped in that day! Extraordinary.

New Ins

A few New Ins this week across the whole spectrum, so here goes:

Bollinger PNVZ16 (bottles £80, mags £200) – we have just about run out of the prior release (PNVZ15) of this 100% pinot noir Champagne so we are delighted to have just received new stocks of the 2016 version. We have a limited number of magnums, so if that is your thing, jump in quick.

2017 Glenelly Glass Collection unoaked Chardonnay, Stellenbosch (£13.95) – to add to our SA range of quality wines, another excellent unoaked Chardonnay. Think Bon Vallon up a notch.
2017 Joseph Drouhin Meursault 1er Cru Charmes (£89) – the producer needs no introduction, the vineyard needs no introduction, the vintage needs no introduction. Enough said.
2018 Drouhin-Vaudon Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos (£85)- almost ditto. The best of the seven climats in the Grand Cru vineyard of Chablis, this wine is more reminiscent of well make Puligny than a Chablis.

2017 Glenelly Glass Collection Cabernet Franc, Stellenbosch (£13.95) – in the right hands Cabernet Franc produces such an expressive wine and we weren’t disappointed with this example.
2016 Artazu Pasos de San Martin (£25.50) – well made Spanish red, 100% Garnacha from Navarra this is a lighter summer wine that still packs a punch flavour wise. Pre-barbecue after the rose.
2016 Artadi El Seque (£29.50) – this time 90% Monastrell, 10% Syrah from Alicante, this wine is powerful with plenty of flavour but is not overbearing on the palate. Think barbecue if/when the sun comes out.
2011 Lopez de Haro Gran Reserva Rioja (£21.50) – we have just got a handful of these bottles to see what it is like, before making a commitment to larger volumes. For this who have enjoyed the Reserva from the same producer, this is an obvious step up.
2015 Chateau Carignan, Bordeaux (£18.00) – we had this in half bottles, have sold out so have replaced with full bottles. Decent drinking Claret.
2015 Chateau Bel Air, Graves, Bordeaux (£25) – we have restocked on the popular half bottles of this wine (£15) and brought in some full sized bottles at the same time. Yummy, even at this young age.
2010 Pastourelle de Clerc Milon HALVES, Pauillac, Bordeaux (£25 per half) – the second wine of Rothschild-owned Clerc Milon, this second wine from the great 2010 vintage is perfect for drinking now in this smaller format.And finally…..
2013 Glenelly ‘Lady May’ MAGNUMS, Stellenbosch, (£70) – a wine that comes to us with the highest recommendation from a trusted trade friend of mine, I couldn’t resist getting it in in larger bottles. Top quality wine at a sensible price. Tim Atkin and Decanter have both given this wine 95 points out of 100.

Car’s the Star

This week’s Car’s the Star is a monster Range Rover Sport. It has all of the bells and whistles you could possibly want and is quite a beast. The height of luxury, you feel like you are sitting in a comfy leather settee when behind the wheel of this one. And yet it still has all of the power you could ask for from a drivers perspective. Looks black? It is actually a very, very dark pearlescent blue. Lovely.
Many thanks to George and Michelle for bringing it down to see us so soon after acquisition, a nice treat on a Saturday afternoon.
Here endeth another edition of Sheldon‘s Times. Let’s hope the weather over the next couple of days is a little better than it has been today so we can recapture the spirit of summer. Plenty to do in the garden and lots of wine to drink so let the sun shine. As ever, Amanda, Trish and I will be here tomorrow to meet your every-wine-related-need and sort your Father’s Day dilemmas out. Pop in and say hello, we’d love to see you.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your flower-loving, Father’s-Day-preparing, old-Port-adoring wine team at Sheldon‘s Wine Cellars

DotW, Rhododendrons, Father’s Day (First Reminder), Badger Gin, DP Release, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Perhaps a little too much in tonight’s Sheldon‘s Times but we know you like to dip in to a variety of different articles. Hopefully today’s edition has a little something for everyone. As I sit here and top ‘n’ tail I am finishing off just a last drop of Dom Perignon from this mornings exciting new releases. What a treat. Enough, crack on.

Dog of the Week

Here’s Widget! What a super little fellow. A tad excitable, but that is no bad thing. He made short work of the biscuits we gave him, interspersed with scampering around the shop.
Many thanks to Sam and Phil for bringing him in, any time!

Carol’s Rhododenrons (or are they Azaleas?)

I suspect many of you know that Carol is very much into her gardening. She keeps asking me if she can retire so she can spend more time tending her plants. I always politely decline. A life without Carol with us wouldn’t be worth living. I had the opportunity to pop round to see Carol recently and spotted this rather delightful Rhododendron. What a set of blooms.
It is great to see so many flowers coming into bloom, the trees coming into leaf and the veggies putting on a spurt of growth. It finally feels like we are into the start of summer. Thanks Carol!

Father’s Day – Sunday 20th June 2021

Sunday 20th June is Father’s Day. If you need a gift for your father we have a great selection of wines, beers and spirits at almost every price point. If you are a father who wants a bottle of something for yourself, tip us the wink, send your loved ones in and we will point them in the right direction! We also offer gift cards making it easy to buy for your Dad.

Sheldon‘s very own Badger Gin – update

Following last weeks announcement of the arrival of our new Badger Gin, named after our founder, Richard Badger I am disappointed to announce that we have sold out. Sorry to those customers who didn’t manage to secure a bottle. You did all read the article last week carefully, didn’t you?
In a somewhat timely fashion we had a customer drop into the shop yesterday with an original Richard Badger stoneware flagon. Following a short barter and an exchange (in which wine was one of the commodities) we are now in possession of this lovely piece of stoneware. We have plenty of Edward Sheldon flagons, but this is the first I have seen from the days of Edwards uncle. It must date to the 1850’s or 1860’s at the latest. What a treat.
Many thanks to Colin for bringing it in and helping us ‘acquire’ it.

DP12 and DP03 P2 release

This morning I was privileged to be invited to join Vincent Chaperon, Chef de Cave of Dom Perignon on a call for the release of the 2012 vintage and also the release of 2003 Dom Perignon Plenitude 2 (P2), the late disgorged version of the wine.

This was a private client event, not a trade or public release of the wines, so Trish joined me and we shared a glass with Amanda and Esther. The wines were outstanding:

Dom Perignon 2012 standard release (P1) – this is the next major release from the house after 2010, having skipped 2011. Vincent compares it with the legendary 1990. One to buy for both the short and the long term, this will be amazing and valuable in the future. Today the 1990 retails at around £450 a bottle. The wine had an amazing bouquet of white flowers and fresh fruit on the nose. While being intense on the palate it also had a lightness that makes it the ultimate aperitif Champagne. It would also be the perfect match for lighter starters. I am thinking a tomato and mozzarella salad with just a touch of basil or pesto or some smoked mackerel mousse with brown bread toast. Delightful. Expect around £165 a bottle.

Dom Perignon 2003 Plenitude 2 (P2) – released following at least 15 years of resting in the cellars on the lees as opposed to 8-9 years for the P1. This wine follows on from the ridiculously good 2002 P2. 2003 was the hot year of the noughties and this wine represents a little bit of a risk for DP in my opinion. But the wine showed exceptionally well with greater levels of complexity and depth than the 2012 P1. More of a hedonists Champagne – one to sip and contemplate, perhaps to be served at the end of a meal rather than the start. I always think of having these wines instead of the sorbet course in a fine dining experience. Delicious. Probably £300 a bottle based on the cost of previous releases.

We have yet to receive release prices for either wine (and it may be the case that we cannot get the 2003 P2 at trade prices) but if you have been a collector of DP in the past then the 2012 is recommended by me as a strong buy (I will be committing in a similar way to the 2008) and the 2003 P2 is something to consider having a few bottles in the cellar for special occasions. Prices to follow once we have them from Moet Hennessy. What a way to spend a Friday morning, we are all still basking in the glow. Other awesome vintages of Dom Perignon are of course available in the shop to drink now….

New Ins

Following a paucity of New Ins over the last couple of weeks we now have an embarrassment of riches to offer. From roses and whites for the summer through to rich reds ready for outside cooking and drinking. Here goes:
Kir-Yianni Assyrtiko from Florina, Northern Greece (£14.50) – we tried this new-in white earlier in the week. Lovely fresh citrus and stone fruits with a refreshing acidity and a salinity that reminds you of being near the sea. It has notes of the good Albarinos we have in the shop, but subtly different. Definitely worth a try, serve nicely chilled as an aperitif or with cold dishes or seafood.Rose:
Following a very positive engagement with our friends of the Bamford variety and wanting to ‘stay local’, we have elected to stock Chateau Leoube (£18.95), the Bamford-produced Provence rose. Many of you will be familiar with the wine, having bought it at Daylesford. For those not wanting to make the trek you can now pick up a bottle or two in your local Sheldon‘s.

Garagista Malbec (£19.95) comes from Bordeaux, specifically the right bank in the small appellation of Artigues de Lussac, located just northeast of Pomerol & St Emillion. Made by the Trocard family, this wine comes from a small plot of Malbec which is rarely found in Bordeaux these days, despite the variety having originated from this part of France. This is classic, well made Malbec in a traditional wine, without the overt Malbec style sometimes found in lesser New World wines made from the same grape variety.

2019 Giacomo Fenoccio Langhe Nebbiolo (£19.95) – another great Langhe Nebbiolo to add to our growing collection. Without the price tag of a full Barolo (we have Fenocchio’s Barolo Bussia at £45), this wine has great fruit matched with balanced tannin and alcohol. A super wine.

Taaibosch ‘The Crescendo’ (£29.95) is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from Stellenbosch. The vineyard area on the estate is farmed following rigorous organic principles. This wine is new to UK and we have our first allocation of just 12 bottles. We tried it a couple of weeks ago and thought it punches well above its price point.

Inama Bradisismo (£30), from Veneto this is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Carmenere (30%) is a great alternative to a super-Tuscan at a fraction of the price. When we tried this is was a no-brainer, although we haven’t got much of it so fill your boots while you can.

And a whole pile of restocks:

2010 Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino (£52, Italy)
2010 Chateau Capbern Gasqueton (£46, France, Claret)
2001 La Rioja Alta ‘890’ Gran Reserva (£135, Spain, Rioja)
2004 La Rioja Alta ‘904’ 2004 Gran Reserva (£64, Spain, Rioja)
2010 Tardieu Laurent Cote Rotie (£58, France, N Rhone)
2010 Chateau La Tour Saint Bonnet (£25, France, Claret)

And finally a couple of lovely new ins from recognised producers:

2005 Sociando Mallet (£80, France, Claret, 12 bottles only)
2004 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia (£56, Spain, Rioja, 6 bottles only, for those who want to try an older vintage)

Finally, finally a bit of summer fun:

Mollydooker ‘Miss Molly’ Sparkling Shiraz (£24.95) – a true BBQ wine from Australia. Following the rule of “if two people ask for it we get it in” we have got just a handful of bottles of this powerful, fun, summer barbecue wine. Sparkling Shiraz never got so good. Did it ever get good? Give it a try, you might be surprised. We have had the wines of Mollydooker for some time now (The Boxer, Blue Eyed Boy) and I have every expectation that this will be equally as good. Serve well chilled!

That lot should keep you going.

Car’s the Star

This weeks Car’s the Star came to the shop just a week ago. Good job really because it is definitely a summer car. A Mini Moke, restored of course, but the original chassis comes from the mid-60’s. Remember those days? I don’t.
I suspect it is the last time we will see this little beauty. By now it is probably in its new home – it has travelled overseas. I think the Isle of Wight is overseas. Certainly a foreign land. A big thank you to Shane and Jane for dropping in before departing on the long, arduous journey southwards.
That concludes today’s edition of Sheldon‘s Times. We are forecast a barbecue weekend so come on down and collect some outdoor drinkers – we have plenty of them at all levels. Better to slosh down some sausages and chicken wings with decent wine than anything else. Trish and I will be running the shop tomorrow with Amanda running a full WSET L1 course down in the nice cool cellars. Come on by and see us.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your DP-loving, gin-joking, Moke-adoring wine team at Sheldon‘s Wine Cellars

DotW, Wine Education, Sunflower Update, New Gin, New Ins and Car’s the Star

Before we get stuck into tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times, a quick notice about social media. Some of you may have spotted that we have become ‘active’ on a variety of social media channels – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to be precise. At present we are using articles from Sheldon’s Times through these channels, so if you prefer to receive updates via social media then look us up. We are @sheldonswine on Twitter, #sheldonswines on Instagram and Sheldon’s Wine Cellars on Facebook. I think I’ve said all of that right. A big thanks to Lucy in our extended team for helping us oldies get on with this. And thanks to those of you who have already ‘liked’ us (is that what you say?) – I saw Lawson and Sian had done just that, and Maria, and others. Magic.

Now then, tonight’s news: we have a couple of lovely doggies, an update on the sunflower competition (c’mon!), the exciting release of a new gin, some new ins and the obligatory car’s the star. Crack on.

Dog(s) of the Week

A long overdue photo of Milo and Luna in tonight’s Sheldon’s Times. Overdue because we had it on hold while the immediate threat of dog theft passed. I have heard fewer stories about dog nabbing recently but do keep me posted if you have had any recent problems. Thankfully Milo and Luna are rather more grown up now, hopefully less chance of them being swiped. Taking the photo was a little tricky – a pup and a boisterous teenager who wouldn’t sit still made it a challenge. But gorgeous, utterly gorgeous.
Thanks to Barry and Kerry for bringing them over. I have seen them in the town since, but not in the shop. I think a visit is long overdue.

Last minute WSET Course Availability

Amanda is running the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 1 in Wines course on Saturday 12th June at the shop. The course will run from 0930hrs to 1630hrs. All course materials, wines, lunch and everything else is included and if you get through the day you will be qualified to a Level 1 standard. We have just a couple of places left, priced at £155 per head, if you are interested in wine then this is a perfect way to learn about the topic, including how to taste. Contact us at the shop or reply to this email if you would like to participate .

Sunflower Competition Update

With the change in the weather has come an acceleration in the growing rate of just about everything in the garden. Trish’s sunflowers have spent a fair amount of time outside in the wind and rain and have developed healthy, thick stems. Now they can take full advantage of the sunshine and shoot up.
This mornings measurement was 34 inches for the tallest one. Get your tape measures out – we are just getting started and it looks like we have a competition ahead of us. Send us your pictures and measurements so we can track progress.

Amanda went on holiday last week. She watered her sunflowers before going but they have sadly passed over to the other side. One less in the competition!

Alfie and Ronnie have just sent in their latest update. Not bad at all. Game on.

Introducing Sheldon’s very own BADGER GIN

I have asked Amanda to introduce this exciting new product that we have had under development for the last year. Read on.
As regular readers know, we love to join in with any date celebrating one of our favourite grape varieties or spirits. Tomorrow is World Gin Day. We have chosen this day to launch a very special new gin that we have been keeping secret for a few months now, whilst we have been perfecting the recipe.

Those of you who have ‘done the cellar tour’  will know that in 1842 Sheldon’s was originally an apothecary – owned and run by Richard Badger (Edward Sheldon’s uncle).  As part of the medical licence, gin was made in one of the cellars under the shop. A few months ago, whilst clearing out an ante-room of the main cellar to create more storage space, Shane uncovered the original still. It was filthy and covered in over a century’s worth of debris, but amazingly has proven to be in full-working order!

Unbeknown to all but a necessary few, during lockdown we have resurrected the still and have been distilling our own Sheldon’s gin, with only a few minor tweaks to the original 1842 recipe. We are now proud and delighted to unveil our special house gin which we have called “Badger” in memory of the founder of the business.

We have made one hogshead barrel that has just been bottled and we are offering just forty two 568ml (pint) bottles of Badger on a first come, first served basis. The cost of each first edition bottle will be £127.99.

Badger captures the essence of Shipston and all it stands for. We felt it important to be as historically accurate and environmentally friendly as possible with the ingredients of the gin, so we have sourced everything locally. The base spirit is distilled from local grains, the water comes from the crystal-clear River Stour and the juniper is from Esther’s well-tended bush. For the other botanicals we carefully selected, hand roasted and crushed a traditional mix of ingredients. These included natural lanolin from the locks of wool collected from the barbed wire fence around the field at the back of Shane and Trish’s house; daffodil bulb oils from the lifted bulbs from the tubs in the shop carpark; Tulinurea from Jo’s favourite pet; Leylandii sap from the tree roots climbing down the cellar wall; oak wood shavings from the aged cases of Bordeaux wines (left bank, Cru Classé chateaux over 20 years old only). Finally we felt condensed crachoir ullage, once reduced to a syrup, makes a unique edition which gives the gin an attractive cloudy appearance and distinct tangy flavour.
Join us in celebrating  World Gin Day – other, less exciting and unique gins are also available….

Amanda x

New Ins

Well I was hoping to present you with a comprehensive list of New Ins this week but there have been a few hiccups in the supply chain. Wines that were supposed to be here a week ago have still not arrived. We have noticed a gradual clogging up of the distribution network and problems with stock picking and delivery. It appears to be an issue across the board (even our cardboard box supplier is grumbling), not confined to just one aspect of the wine delivery process or any single wholesaler or producer.
That said, we do have the following for you:
Cotswolds Distillery Summer Cup – £25.95
This is a summer concoction from our friends at the Distillery. A blend of the award winning Cotswolds Distillery Gin with Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherries, finished with spice and herbal essences. Some folk have referred to it as a Pimms equivalent, I think the use of aged, complex sherries gives this sunshine drink an extra dimension. Mix with lemonade or ginger ale and throw in some fruit and cucumber and you have the perfect starter for the afternoon.
Zucchetto Baccarat Rose Prosecco – £17.95
It is the first year that the production of rose Prosecco has been permitted. The wine has to contain at least 10% Pinot Nero, the Italian name for Pinot Noir. This new wine has 14% Pinot Nero in it, think summer fruits in a glass enveloped in brut Prosecco. Serve nicely chilled. This is not a wine with Champagne-style complexity, it is easy drinking wine for the garden. I reckon I could drink two bottles in one sitting. Tasty!
We also have the return of some old friends that have been absent from the shop, perhaps for a day or two:

2020 Cantele Rosato – the nice new Italian rose made from Negroamaro, at £12.50
2019 Telero Rosso – the excellent £10 Italian red from Puglia.
2018 Querciabella Mongrana – the last bottle sold yesterday, this is excellent Sangiovese with Bordeaux varietals from Tuscany. £16.95
2018 Quinta Sardonia ‘Sardon’ – a smashing Spanish red, deep and intense which left our shelves a month or so ago, we have been waiting for the shipment from the producer. £16.95

and finally…

2017 ‘Y’ de Yquem – the awesome dry white from the famed Sauternes house, Chateau d’Yquem

Car’s the Star

With over 2 years of weekly Sheldon’s Times behind us I cannot remember every car that has been in, so apologies if we have seen this beauty before. On this occasion I popped up to the shop to complete some mundane tasks on a Monday when the shop is closed. Look what I found in the car park.
We do love an old Porsche, just as we love most old cars. And new ones. And ones in-between for that matter too. Many thanks to Mr S for dropping by, always a pleasure.
That will do for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. The weather is looking good for the weekend ahead, perhaps rose weather has finally arrived? Get the barbecue on, pull a few corks and eat and drink with wild abandon.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your sunflower-competition-winning, Milo-and-Luna-loving, gin-producing wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

Sketch meets DotW, Parrot of the Week, 3 Men Update, New Ins and Car’s the Star. And a big apology.

Firstly may I offer a huge and unreserved apology to anyone who got caught up in the traffic nightmare in Shipston this morning (c. 8.50am). It was our fault. Sort of. Our Champagne delivery arrived from France in an 8 metre arctic truck. Unfortunately the driver decided to park on the main road in a way that prevented buses and lorries from coming round the one-way circuit. For a short time we caused traffic chaos. Sorry about that.
Tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times is less about wine, more a call to arms on a number of topics. We have a sketch with last week’s DotW, a need to find a parakeet a home, a final call for donations to 3 Men in a Boat, some New Ins and a rather neat Car’s the Star. No time to hang around – press ahead.

Sketch meets DotW

Remember Fonzi? Our fun-loving Chihuahua from last week? Well, one of our regular younger readers who has a penchant for our furry friends has been busy with pad and biro. Not a bad effort at all.
A big thank you to Eleanor for the excellent piece of artwork I have seen. And also the most inventive way of getting out of the spelling homework due the next morning!

Parrot of the Week (revisited)

With a not-quite-proper DotW article above, I thought we might be able to squeeze in a revisit to our Parrot of the Week feature, not least because we have such an important entry. The following feathered friend was discovered in a garden in Great Rollright but the leg ring doesn’t provide any information about his owner.
He’s a Parakeet and is currently comfortably housed at the veterinary surgery in Hook Norton but understandably the team are keen to find the owner and return this lovely bird to his home. If you have any idea where he might live please get in touch with the surgery or drop us a line and we’ll make the connection. Many thanks!

3 Men in a Boat – the final call

Thank you all for allowing me the privilege of a mid-week email to keep you all updated on our intrepid adventurers. I have had the call from the team this evening and the great news is that they have completed the task, a day early! Some stats to help you understand the enormity of their efforts:

Distance covered: 85 miles (wow, in that old boat?)
Nights slept rough: 3 (ok, so it should be 4, they may have had one night in the hotel)
Bottles drunk on route: 56 (good effort)
Calories burned: 846,729kcals (but very few steps on the pedometer)

Join me in congratulating these committed Gentlemen. I know they found it significantly more challenging than anticipated, all the more reason to support the cause. They surpassed their dream target of raising £10,000 on Thursday and funds continue to roll in. The best way you can do your bit is to make a donation which you can do by clicking the below button. No need for holding back.
Click here to donate to 3 Men in a Boat
I know Will, David and Jonathan want to say a huge thank you to all of you who have already made a donation. Your contribution is really appreciated. I saw Rebecca from Shipston Home Nursing (SHN) during the week and she and the team at SHN are absolutely made up with the funds raised. We will add up the number of Sheldon’s champagne bottles sold next week, I will then double the number and make a donation from the wine shop. I am sure the chaps will enjoy a drink or two this evening and hopefully get a good night’s sleep!
Well done 3 Men in a Boat!

New Ins and Returns

First up tonight we have a return to our shelves following a period of absence. Quinta Vide was a very popular mid-range Albarino, loved by many of you and one of the first ‘proper’ Albarinos we managed to source. It comes from Rias Baixas in North West Spain, the home of the Albarino grape.
In the changing wine world it is likely that this wine will soon be unavailable in the UK (the company importing this wine has been sold and the new owner is unlikely to maintain the supply), so we have bought the last of the remaining stocks. The price remains the same as before at £14.25, so fill your boots. 132 bottles available.
Next up is another new Spanish wine, an addition to the Ribera del Duero range. We have stocked a wine called Figuero 4 for some time. A short while ago we were lucky enough to try 3 other wines from the Figuero range. We have settled on adding 2 further wines. Figuero 12 is a step up from Figuero 4, the number in the name represents the number of months the wine has been matured in oak barrels. Figuero 12 is a full wine with ripe red fruits, a touch of spice and pepper. There is a touch of balsamic too. Tannins are well integrated, it is a smoother wine than Figuero 4. £23.75.
In the near future we will also be adding Figuero 15 to the range. It is a step up in price from 12 but also another step up in quality. Just waiting for it to arrive in the UK.

Other wines that have just come in are mostly restocks. We were expecting another parcel to arrive today but it has been delayed to next week:

Edward Sheldon Champagne in halves – it’s back!
2002 Dom Perignon (restock)

2009 Chateau Bourgneuf Pomerol (restock)

Car’s the Star

I haven’t seen many of these around. In fact I think this is the only one I’ve seen. Some manufacturers of prestige cars have dipped into the SUV and ultra-luxury category somewhat unsuccessfully, others have done a great job. When Aston announced the DBX I confess that I was a little nervous, but they have done an exceptional job. When I took the photo the car was in the car park and I was above it on the loading bay ramp. From above this SUV looks almost saloon like. Great styling with all of the core charateristics of Aston retained.
Many thanks to Seamus for bringing it along (again). Always a pleasure to see it (and you) at the shop.
That will do for tonight’s edition of Sheldon’s Times. The forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend ahead looks medium to well done so drop by tomorrow, buy your rose and BBQ reds and plough into a food-and-drink-with-friends-and-family few days. Trish and I will be here to serve you tomorrow, we look forward to seeing you. And enjoy the extra day off.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your fund-raising-supportive, Albarino-drinking, Parakeet-home-finding wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

DotW, 3 Men in a Boat with Champagne offer, New Ins & Car’s the Star

What is going on with this weather? Rather depressing, isn’t it? We had an order for 30 bottles of rose at the beginning of the week. It has now changed to mostly reds. Carol was suggesting we might get a frost on Saturday night – you have been warned! The forecasters are talking about June before any significant improvement. Being as changeable as it is, I am hoping for a rapid switch sometime soon.

The usual eclectic array of articles in tonights Sheldon’s Times. We have DowT and Car’s the Star (except it is a van), some great New Ins (no Bordeaux or Champagne for a change, sorry Will) and a quick article about an amazing tasting we did this week. And there is a Champagne offer **one week only** as a way of helping our intrepid rowers as they embark on their excursion down the bubbling brook that is the Thames. On you go.

Dog of the Week

This weeks furry friend is pocket-sized. His name is Fonzi and he’s a tiny little Chihuahua, so bijoux he was able to hang out on the counter with space to spare.
Many thanks to Nick and Nicola for bringing him in. Good job we had a couple of small bite-sized treats (thank you Tim and Deb, sorry Jackson and Dougie for giving one of your biscuits away) for Fonzi to chew on. Welcome to the area.

3 Men in a Boat – the time has come
(for you to sponsor)

It seems like only last week that we were shouting about the impending adventure that three brave men have been planning. In fact it was a month ago and the men concerned have spent every waking hour since intensively training. Fine physical specimens they have turned out to be, but I still have some concerns over their ability to complete the challenge. Rowing from Oxford to London in a skiff is no walk in the park, not least because the weather remains changeable and the river is like chocolate soup. Sleeping on the boat or the bank is going to be tough. And yet they seem rather jolly in this photo on a recent trial outing on the water.
We are expecting regular in-flight updates during this exciting excursion, please excuse the occasional interim email update to Sheldon’s Times readers next week. I know some of you are keen to be kept up to speed on progress down river.
As a reminder, the worthy cause that these three brave men are collecting for is Shipston Home Nursing, the palliative care provider whose mission is to help loved ones in their homes in Shipston and the surrounding villages. Please give generously, now and throughout the expedition. You can click the below link to go straight to the giving website.
Give now for 3 Men in a Boat by clicking here
No amount is too small. And no amount is too large either. Help these guys raise some cash for such a great cause. If nothing else it will make them feel better while rowing in the rain, eating in the rain, sleeping in the rain and generally getting wet.
Here’s wishing Will, David and Jonathan every success! Good luck chaps. We are with you all the way.

Edward Sheldon Champagne offer in support of 3 Men in a Boat

In an effort to support these valiant men for the duration of their adventure we are proposing an offer on Edward Sheldon Champagne:
Usual price: £23.99
Offer price (to motivate you to buy): £22.99 running from Saturday 22nd to Saturday 29th inclusive (75cl bottles only).
For every bottle of Champagne that we sell at the offer price we will donate a further pound to the cause. As I sit here we have 258 bottles of Edward Sheldon Champagne in the shop with two more pallets arriving on Tuesday, let’s see if we can raise a decent amount of cash for this good cause. If any of you choose to donate your price saving to the charity we will of course action this too.

Henschke Masterclass – what a way to spend a morning!

On Thursday this week we were lucky enough to be invited to attend a Henschke masterclass, organised by the UK importer (Liberty Wines) and hosted by Stephen Henschke directly from the winery in Keyneton in the Eden Valley, South Australia.
On the line-up were the full range of Henschke wines, from Henry’s Seven which we have in the shop) at the ‘entry’ level, right through to the current release of Hill of Grace (which we also have in the shop). What struck us about the wines was not their intensity, we expected that with South Australia wines, especially those made with Shiraz, but their balance. Each component, whether it be alcohol, acidity, tannin, aroma or flavour worked perfectly well with the other elements of the wine. Whether it was a Bordeaux blend (found in the Cyril Henschke and to an extent the Keyneton bottlings), a Rhone take (Johann’s Garden) or a straight Shiraz (Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace) each of the elements of the wine was in harmony with the rest. Testament to the viticulture of Prue Henschke and the winemaking skills of her husband, Stephen.
It was a real treat to be able to taste these wines, albeit a little earlier than we would usually tuck in. Massive Aussie wines at 9am is not for the faint-hearted. The intensity of Mount Edelstone and Hill of Grace in particular helped us appreciate that any more than a glass of these would be too much, such was the stature of each of these wines. Amanda commented “these are wines perfect for the Coravin wine preservation system, you could pour a small glass and enjoy it, then come back to it again in a few weeks time”. Unusual for her not to want to drink a full bottle of New World red in one sitting. These really were amazing wines and we look forward to expanding on the range we currently have in the near future. But for now, if any of you want to dip in we still have a little:
2018 Henry’s Seven £27.95
2015 Keyneton Estate £39.95
2015 Hill of Grace £540

New Ins

Just a few New Ins today to whet the appetite. We’ve continued to build the New World stock with further wines from Chile and we have re-established our sourcing route for the wonderful wines of Chapoutier.
Errazuriz & Eduardo Chadwick
Following the successful introduction of the Chilean wine Errazuriz Las Pizarras Pinot Noir last week, I have continued shopping for further wines from this great producer. In particular Chilean Carmenere has been a gap for us, but I think we have started to sort this out.

2019 Errazuriz Aconcagua Alto Carmenere (£19.95) – from grapes grown on the Max vineyards at over 1800ft altitude, this is an intense, spicy, fruity, well balanced Carmenere at a very reasonable price.

2010 Errazuriz Kai Carmenere (£100) – coming directly from the Don Maximiano Estate (remember from last weeks email?) in the Aconcagua Valley. This is a fuller bodied expression, powerful but remaining elegant. This might be the ultimate expression of Carmenere.

2014 Sena (£125) – regularly benchmarked against the Bordeaux First Growths, this Bordeaux blend was the exciting combined venture of Eduardo Chadwick and Robert Mondavi back in 1995. The Sena vineyard is in the Aconcagua Valley and was selected specifically for its ability to produce wines of place. It is farmed biodynamically, showing full respect to the biodiversity in the area. Sena is known for its structure and complexity with fine-grained tannins and balancing acidity, it is one of the iconic wines of Chile. It is now 100% owned by Eduardo Chadwick. This 2014 bottling receives 95 points from the Wine Advocate and 97 from the Wine Spectator.

All three of these wines from Chile have the benefit of being suitable for vegans.

M. Chapoutier
The house of Chapoutier dates back to 1808 and is one of the oldest companies in the Rhone Valley. It is however in more recent times that the wines have come to the fore, expressing a true sense of terroir. The arrival of Michel Chapoutier in 1990 heralded in a new era of experimentation, open-mindedness with a thirst for knowledge. Michel is now ably assisted by his daughter, Mathilde in the running of the business.
Here at Sheldon’s we have stocked Chapoutier wines for a long while. Recently the responsibility for the importing of the Chapoutier wines changed, putting our ability to continue to source the wines in some doubt. I am delighted to say we have established a strong relationship with the new importer and have managed to maintain our access to these lovely wines. Not only that, we have secured a small parcel of the Domaine des Granges de Mirabel 2018 (£17.50) – the favourite wine (and vintage) of our guest contributor in last weeks email. Here’s what we have brought in this week:La Ciboise Blanc AOP Luberon (£9.95) – a great Luberon blanc (remember the Luberon from ‘A Year in Provence’?), this wine is a blend of Grenache Blanc, Vermentino, Viognier and Rousanne. a lovely fruity wine with stone fruits and some more exotic flavours.
La Ciboise Rouge AOP Luberon (£10.95) – historically we have had the wine of the same name from the Costieres de Nimes AOP. This new version is from the Luberon Regional Nature Park, with the vines growing at 350m altitude. Think black fruits, silky tannins and a hint of liquorice on the finish.
Les Tanneurs AOP Saint Peray (£19.95) – the Saint Peray AOP is the southernmost appellation in the Northern Rhone and is only permitted to make white wines. This is a Marsanne dominant blend with a little oak barrel ageing giving a touch of complexity. Green apple, white blossom and honey.From the organic collection from Chapoutier we have the return of the Cotes du Rhone Blanc and Rouge (both at £13.95), plus the new introduction of the fully biodynamic Chateauneuf du Pape (£35.95), all under the Collection Bio label.
Finally from Chapoutier we have replenished long-since-depleted stocks of their vin doux natural Banyuls Selection Parcellaire (£18.50 for 50cl). 100% Grenache Noir, the fermentation of the grape juice is stopped by the addition of grape spirit, the same way port is made. The wine is then aged in vats and bottles for a year before release. This is black fruits, cloves and spice with velvety tannins. Serve slightly chilled with cheese or dessert. Yum.

Car’s the Star

This week’s Car’s the Star isn’t a car at all. It is the new, shiny Corney and Barrow delivery van. Just an ordinary van I hear you cry? Well almost.
Perhaps the most famous Burgundy wine in the world is Domaine de la Romanee Conti. The Domaine owns a number of vines in Vosne Romanee, including the monopoles of La Tache and Romanee Conti. Corney and Barrow are the exclusive importers of Domaine de la Romanee Conti wines into the UK market. When referring to the domaine, folk often abbreviate to DRC. Nice to see Corney and Barrow have taken the time to equip the van with a private numberplate.
Many thanks to Adam, Will, Tree and Liv for looking after me at Corney and Barrow for the last 5 years. It has been quite a journey, long may we continue drinking great bottles!
That will do for tonights edition. It seems the miserable weather is set in for while longer but that won’t dampen our spirits. A weekend of being allowed to eat indoors lies ahead and I am sure many of us will be enjoying a little local hospitality. If however you are planning on staying in, Amanda, Trish and I will be here to help you pick some lovely wines for you to enjoy.

Shane, Amanda, Esther, Nigel, Trish and Carol

Your tiny-dog-adoring, 9am-Aussie-wine-enduring, DRC-numberplate-loving wine team at Sheldon’s Wine Cellars

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