Fine Living | The Reconnoisseur

The Connaught’s bar manager wheels out his latest wheeze

The wines are rare, and the service is highly unusual

The Connaught’s bar manager wheels out his latest wheeze

December 11 2009
John Stimpfig

Lunch at The Connaught is always one of London’s most civilised pleasures, especially if one slips into the warm embrace of its Coburg Bar beforehand. However, for oenophiles in particular, there’s another reason to drop by ever since bar manager Mark Jenner wheeled out his latest wine wheeze.

Jenner has put together a very rare, classic and exciting selection of just 12 wines by the glass – six clarets and six white burgundies. Naturally, the clarets are served from a Riedel decanter and glasses (the white burgundies are kept in the fridge). But the most unusual part of the service is the way in which the wines are delivered – from an exquisite hand-carved “Bordeaux Trolley”, specially commissioned by the talented Mr Jenner.

The list may be brief, but it is beautifully proportioned. The clarets kick off with a benchmark 2004 Potensac (£14) before moving up to the fabulous 1988 Ducru-Beaucaillou (£55) and then peak at a 2002 Haut-Brion (£95). Self-evidently, we are clearly in fairly rarified terroir, as one might expect from The Connaught.

The burgundies are equally sublime. When I was there, I absolutely loved Marc Morey’s 2004 premier cru En Virondot Chassagne-Montrachet. It alone was vaux le détour. Given the scarcity of some of these wines, the list will change fairly frequently, which also provides a very good reason to return sooner rather than later.