Grape expectations at No.15
Our wine expert Angela Mount has a lot to say when it comes to No.15’s wine list.
Unique, different, beautiful, quirky, eclectic – five of the many words that trip off the tongues of guests who experience the delights of No.15 Great Pulteney. With elegance, beauty, hidden gems, and breathtaking surprise in every room, it was only fitting that we brought together a relatively small, but perfectly-formed wine list to intrigue and excite the taste buds and the minds.
On a mission to find wines that were unique to No.15 Great Pulteney, we’ve sniffed out a range of little gems, which, in most cases, you won’t find anywhere else in town (and in several cases, no where else outside London) – wines with stories, with history, with authenticity, and with that little sprinkle of magic, which makes them different.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll take you on a journey of vinous discovery, as we reveal the stories behind the quirky wines on the No.15 bar list.
Where better to start than at the birthplace of wine? No, not Greece or Italy, but the high hills of Armenia, close to Mount Ararat on the Turkish border, where the first wine is reputed to have been made over 6000 years ago – history which goes even beyond the noble pedigree of our wonderful city. We’ve discovered Karasi Areni Noir 2013, from a small producer, who still ages his wines in earthenware amphorae under the ground. Soft, and smooth, with dark plum and cherry flavours, it’s a velvety red, perfect in front of the Bar 15 fire on chilly evenings.
The ambition of this wine list is to bring you wines that are different, that have stories, that are new discoveries…. And which also celebrate independents, family producers and small, carefully-crafted wines. Award-winners, made by people passionate about wine, a million miles away from the mass-produced; wines which fit the mood, but also challenge and encourage you to explore and try something that little bit different.
Our prosecco and champagnes are from family-owned producers – very rare in champagne and Italy these days; beautifully presented, stylish bottles from small wineries that we have coaxed out, just for us in this area. We’re also great supporters of English sparkling wine, which is creating waves right now, through our association with the multi-award winning Hampshire-based Hattingley Vineyards.
Our house prosecco is catwalk chic, and definitively a cut above, with its super-stylish presentation, which puts many champagne labels to shame. Montelvino Asolo Prosecco, which will trip off the tongue beautifully by our legendary bar and cocktail heroes Andrea, and Marcello, comes from ‘the city of one hundred horizons’, a fitting match for our own city of spectacular views. Our Champagne AR LeNoble, was in the top five selected by the Independent Champagne review in December, and is produced by a tight-knit family business, with only 12 employees, who cover everything from vineyard care to winemaking and selling.
For those who want to explore, we have a fabulous Turkish red on the list, by the glass, K of Kapadokia 2012 – Turkey is creating waves for its wines at the moment, and this is a fabulous example of a lighter style, soft, velvety red, equally perfect on its own, as with food.
Like Sancerre, but not the price? We have the answer for this also, with the tongue-tinglingly crisp, and zestily fresh Valencay 2015; from a little town, which nestles just west of Sancerre, it has similar attributes, but is far better value.
Staying on more familiar territory, the nation’s favourite, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, isn’t just any old Savvy Blanc – Mohua Sauvignon Blanc 2016, only went and snatched a coveted gold medal at the International Wine Challenge, the top accolade that any of the 15,000 entrants could attain!
Our final tempter for this first blog is our Managing Director’s personal favourite – Nitida Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 – once again, we like to champion family producers and indies, and this gem is from a winemaking family in Durbanville – bursting with sweet, plump blackcurrant fruit, it has poise and style.
Delve into some of these gems, and we’ll tell you more about their individual stories in the weeks to come.