Wine Review: Hedonism wine shop, London W1
Head to a Russian tycoon's new wine store for a taste of Hedonism.
Haute couture and jewellery lure many to Mayfair in London, but since Hedonism Wines opened on Davies Street those in search of fashionable wines head there, too. The bling of the place makes you blink, literally, at the chandelier made of 125 hand-blown Riedel glasses, and at the back-lit wall glowing with 88 bottles of golden Château d'Yquem. I unfashionably gawped and gasped at it all.
Hedonism was founded by the Russian mobile-phone tycoon Evgeny Chichvarkin. His CEO, Tatiana Fokina, whisked me first to the super-premium spirits (designer grappa bottles; Japanese whiskies 'flying off the shelves'), then to champagnes and whites, and, finally, to the reds, which include 20 vintages of Château Pétrus and a collection of Château Mouton-Rothschild from 1945 to 2004. A chained vault contains the most venerable wines. I fancied the 1774 Jura Vin Jaune (pre-French Revolution!) but couldn't find the £72,000 required.
It's ostentatious, but Hedonism is worth a browse for any serious wine lover. Yes, there are the iconic labels, but also some decently priced wines, especially among South Africa and Australia's top names. The champagnes are also surprisingly reasonable. There's a tasting area (25ml samples cost between £1 and £30), lots of female staff (including sake expert Honami Matsumoto), even a children's play area. Though it's not the place, perhaps, to bring a toddler.
De Toren Fusion V 2009, Stellenbosch, South Africa (£29.80)
Cape blend worth seeking out, a bordeaux-style blend of grapes rich with cassis-laden cabernet sauvignon and with a sleek veneer of oak. Dazzles with lamb or a rich beef dish.
Champagne Laurent-Perrier Brut, NV, France (£29.90)
Laurent-Perrier's non-vintage has a notably crisp, lean, mouthwatering style, with just a hint of biscuit, and is a superb apéritif. The price at Hedonism is remarkably good.
Leeuwin Estate Art Series Riesling 2009, Margaret River, Australia (£18.50)
Leeuwin is renowned for its white wines in particular, among Australia's best, and this off-dry riesling sings out with crisp citrus and apple. Elegant, refreshing; match with white fish.
TIPPLE TIP loire lovely...
'Côteaux du Giennois is a Loire appellation making sauvignon blanc. Its time has arrived, proving more subtle than cheap New Zealand versions, but less costly than top sancerre. Stella loves Domaine de Villargeau 2011, Côteaux du Giennois.' Majestic, £9.99, or £7.99 if you buy two before 18 March