From hip Hackney to the heart of Mayfair, London is now awash with great wine bars. And none comes more exclusive than the Club at Ten Trinity Square, Château Latour’s plush new members’ joint in Tower Hill.
Ranged over the second floor of the former London Port Authority building – an imposing Grade II-listed landmark relaunched last spring as Ten Trinity Square, a luxury complex with a Four Seasons, private apartments and restaurant by Michelin-starred chef Anne-Sophie Pic – this sumptuously decorated club is the first venture for the famed first growth outside Bordeaux.
It boasts the biggest selection of ex-cellar Château Latour by the glass in London and a Latour Discovery Room where one can indulge in tastings surrounded by spotlit displays of Latour going back to 1939. There’s a cigar room, private dining, billiard room, bar and velvet-clad lounges with views of Tower Bridge, plus enough chandeliers and walnut panelling to sink a ship. What’s more, if you’re a member, you get the opportunity to buy direct from the Latour cellars once a year – an extraordinary privilege given the celebrity of these wines.
Quite how you become a member, or what the price of entry is, remains a mystery. And they won’t disclose the size of their membership, either. “Oh, we’re just growing it organically,” said one PR sweetly. Which might have something to do with the fact that when I went on a Wednesday night back in November, the place was rather quiet. Could it be, I wondered, that the Club had made itself just a bit too, well, private?
I hope not, because this place has one diamond of a sommelier in the form of Jan Konetzki, a slightly Puck-ish German who goes by the title of director of wine and Château Latour and Artémis Domaines ambassador at the Club, and “Bloody Sommelier” on Instagram. He’s poured first growths everywhere from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Maze to Claridge’s, has Konetzki, but this award-winning sommelier’s passion for his subject hasn’t waned a jot.
As he takes me through a tasting of Latour vintages, he peppers the conversation with interesting anecdotes and laser-sharp tasting notes. While I nose a glass of densely fruity Pauillac de Château Latour 2010, he draws my attention to subtle pencil lead and steak tartare characters, “so typical of Pauillac”. Later on, when I taste the 2004 vintage of the estate’s top wine, Château Latour Grand Vin, I immediately notice that ferrous note running through this powerful symphony of aromatic woods, animalic amber, dried herbs, tart cassis and creamy raspberry meringue. Like all the best sommeliers, Konetzki has a knack for springing the lock on great wines. Let’s hope he can do the same for the Club.