Shawn Halpin's contribution to our help the indies competition tells how he stumbled across his hidden gem, not on a ramble in the countryside, but during a ramble through wine-searcher.com.
Edgmond wines operates from a small shop, about five miles from nowhere, as my Irish cousins would say. More accurately, Edgmond is a village in Shropshire. I have never been there, but I would have thought that passing trade is sometimes slow. Fortunately, the power of the internet is such that they have become one of my regular wine suppliers.
I first came across the name through wine-searcher.com, where they frequently feature among the best value (ie lowest price) retailers. After my first few purchases, I discovered that they share my passion for South African wine.
A few months ago I received an email flyer saying that they had secured exclusive UK rights to some high quality SA wines, including the KWV Mentors series; and limited release Kanonkop wines like Paul Sauer 40 (only 500 bottles made) and Black Label Pinotage; David Sadie's Grenache (2 barrels made); and Druk My Niet T3, a bizarre but wonderful melange of Tempranillo, Tannat, and Tinta Amarela. How a relatively small outlet like Edgmond got the business I will never know, but more power to their elbow!
The very best internet retailers manage to develop a relationship with their customers, and I have exchanged entertaining and friendly emails with them. When a recent delivery was delayed by 24 hours I received a bottle of KWV Sauvignon Blanc as an apology. With another order I was sent a free bottle of Howard Booysen's Pegasus Cinsault with a note asking me for my opinion on the wine (It was delicious – light, fruity, refreshing, with relatively low alcohol, perfect for a summer's day).
With Edgmond's help, I have tasted new wines and varietals and secured some rather unique bottles. I now own 1% of the Paul Sauer 40 limited edition, and I look forward to continuing to explore the new wave of South African wines.