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Saturday 16 August 2014

Around The World In A Day - Amathus Knightsbridge

Amathus - as I didn't know - is mostly a wholesale business, one of the UK's main importers, and specialises in spirits as much as wines.

As a sideline, they run a few retail outlets - each with a very different character. Leadenhall Market caters for city types and sells mostly Champagne and classic French reds.

The Soho branch, in adland, does a surprisingly brisk trade in cocktail spirits.

The latest addition is Amathus Knightsbridge which will surely give Harrod's Food Hall just up the road a run for its money.

The shop has been open for three months, but the technicalities of getting a refit sorted meant they have only just had their launch event.

They invited me along.

We started with a Prosecco - off-dry with orchard fruit it was fault-free and pleasant if a little unsophisticated. At over ten pounds, it was at the upper end of the price scale for the quality.

The format of the evening was canapes and a help-yourself to the 20-plus wines and spirits available on the two oenomatic machines.
Overall, the wines were well-made, well-chosen and interesting. Many were priced at the upper end of what I would have expected, but a memorable selection were both impressive and good value.

What I liked most about the arrangement was the option of three price points per wine on the oenomatic machine.

This means that for pocket-money prices, you can taste a small splash of wine to see if you want to take a whole bottle.

It also means that, should you fancy it, for the price of a single bottle, you can try everything on offer on the shop.

So, if you are the sort of person who would take a Vinho Verde over a kiwi Sauvignon, who feels that a £10+ wine can be good value if the quality is great, who would consider taking an oenological tour of all the continents in a single evening to be a major achievement, then the Aladdin's cave that is Amathus Knightsbridge could be just your thing.
The Whites

Koshu (Japan) my first Japanese wine; modern, expressive aromatic nose. Pure and precise. Pleasant but somewhat international in style, rather insubstantial and also expensive at £22.

Louis Sipp Riesling (Alsace) textbook Alsace Riesling, off-dry, musky melonskin, ripe stone fruit and citrus, minerality. Very elegant.

Savigny-Les-Beaune (Burgundy) floral, cidery and mineral. Seems more Jura than Burgundy.

The Reds

Taurasi (Italy) complex, nuanced and sophisticated. A class act. Very Good.

Gordon Estate Syrah (Washington, USA) northern Rhone-esque Syrah, all dark herbs and spices, dark berries, freshness and substance. A revelation. Good.

The Spirits
Ferdinand's Saar Dry Gin (Germany) crisp, refreshing and pleasantly bitter.

La Puritita Mezcal (Mexico) smokey-peaty, like an Islay whisky.

Ch De Laubade X.O. (Bas Armagnac) complex, mature and mellow with a sophisticated assertiveness. Very Good Indeed.

Other related articles
Private Cellar Tasting
Lunch at The Old Bridge, Huntingdon

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