67 Pall Mall
67 Pall Mall, SW1Y 5ES
WLC Rank : 2
Glass from : £ 7.00 (125 ml)
BEST FORVast by-the-glass selection
A motivated sommelier team
Refined classic dishes
“We are very lucky that our wine list is accessible, as is our membership,” says Master Sommelier, Terry Kandylis of wine members' club 67 Pall Mall. “The only criteria? A love of wine.”
Terry Kandylis oversees 17 full-time sommeliers at the decorous, art-filled 67 Pall Mall plying a core list of 4,300 bottles, plus extensive members’ reserves. The physics graduate turned leading Master Sommelier initially studied WSET qualifications in his native Greece under the guidance of the country’s only Master of Wine, later earning spurs at The Fat Duck and The Ledbury before helping open the wine club in the grade II-listed former Hambros Bank.
Members predominantly stockpile wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany and Piedmont at the club, although Kandylis has seen “a promising increase” in Eastern Europe, Germany and Lebanon. Kandylis keenly accommodate their eccentricities. “One member has a personal decanter and asks that it is polished in the morning before every visit, while another wanted a mini-masterclass of Sancerre before deciding Sauvignon Blanc wasn’t for her. But we finally served her, blind, a lovely Sauvignon from Chile’s Aconcagua Valley, which she was very pleased with.”
Kandylis, who works alongside Head of Wine and fellow Master Sommelier, Ronan Sayburn (Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons, Pied à Terre, OW Loeb, Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road, The Greenhouse) describes his vinous approach as having “no boundaries”. Hence the list features selected low-intervention wines. “Natural wines are most certainly getting better, cleaner and more linked in flavour to their geography. Real artisans have a deep knowledge of what they are aiming for and an understanding of the facts that can go wrong. If you need to be clean in a conventional winery, you need to be one hundred times more so in a natural one.”
At 800 bins, Kandylis and Sayburn offer likely the most substantial by-the-glass selection in the world, from 42 countries, including such tears of Bacchus as Sine Qua Non Tant Pis! 1995.
Kandylis recently visited Bordeaux, California, Australia and Austria, “seeing new trends and upcoming vignerons striving for quality and expression.” He also dispatches his sommeliers around the globe, the last trip being to the Douro and the next to Champagne. “We have a yearly calendar of all the whereabouts and happenings of our sommelier team. And our chef, who visits the fishmongers we work with, and shoots at the estate where we obtain venison.”
Dishes by said chef, Marcus Verberne (Le Caprice and Borough Market’s Roast) may include fried sea trout with steamed asparagus and oyster velouté paired with single estate Austrian Grüner Veltliner (F.X. Pichler). “Its vibrancy and minerality enhance the iodine aromas of the dish,” says Kandylis. Other dishes may include braised rabbit, cider and snail pie, and the 1kg of 100-day dry-aged cote de boeuf for two, as well as Lindisfarne rock oysters, Cannon & Cannon British charcuterie, and Russian Oscietra caviar.
67 very often plays host to standout masterclasses, “including a showcase spanning 40 years of first-growth of St-Estèphe, Château Montrose, presented by CEO, Hervé Berland.” Kandylis also fondly recalls the Burgundy masterclass by Jasper Morris MW, “a man who can travel you straight to the Côte-d’Or with his stories.” Off-piste, an event seeing wines matched with music played on an electric bass guitar was also incubated at the club.
In autumn 2017, the club expanded its tannic tendrils into an additional floor, creating the Clubroom including a spirits bar named, tongue-in-cheek, the Naughty Corner, equipped with 90 spirits such as Ben Nevis 42, bottled from 67’s own cask, which may be sipped by a real fire.
Forthcoming plans, according to founder and CEO, Grant Ashton (a former City trader), include a supplementary St James’s-based storage facility for 85,000 bottles “allowing us to expand our list to our long-term goal of 10,000 bins.” And, come early 2020, the team envisages the opening of their first overseas branch in Asia.
By Douglas Blyde.