8 Seymour Street, W1H 7JZ
WLC Rank : 51
Glass from : £ 7.50 (175 ml)
BEST FORLine-ups of Gaja and Gulfi
Wines of the Marche
The section entitled ”Italy in the World”
Useful maps illustrating the list
A brilliant list prepared by dedicates to Giorgio Locatelli, celebrating Italian wines, be they modern or classical, as well as international wines with an Italian connection.
Head sommelier, Luca Luciani learnt to appreciate wine growing up in Italy’s Marche, visiting vineyards with his grandfather, tasting grape must straight off from the press.
Formerly of L’Anima (RIP) and Rossodisera, a Marche-focused dine-in deli by Seven Dials, Luciani remembers when he began at Locanda Locatelli as commis sommelier. “22nd September 2017 – an exciting place with 750 labels and the opportunity for fascinating food and wine matches, such as Pinot Bianco Rarità Terlan 2005 intertwined with Giorgio Locatelli’s chestnut tagliatelle with Parmigiano Reggiano, girolles, porcini, pied bleu and pied-de-mouton, finished with chives.”
Luciani reveals Lombardy-born Locatelli enjoys Sardinian Vermentino or Umbrian Sagrantino di Montefalco. On that note, Luciani always looks to expand his offer of indigenous grapes, such as “Coda di Pecora from Campania, Greco Moro from Lazio, and Gaglioppo from Calabria,” as well as orange wines, “an oenological philosophy which I would like to know more about.”
However, guests at this corner of the Hyatt Regency tend towards the established names of Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino, which they will find here represented, “and also Bolgheri, or Ripasso della Valpolicella,” says Luciani, who remembers the most unusual question he was asked by a guest was, “may I have white Chianti?” Ensuring a fresh perspective, wines by the glass, which may include Ben Rye Passito Di Pantelleria (Donnafugata) are decided by the whole sommelier team.
While predominantly Italian, the list offers a chapter entitled, “Italy In The World”. Hence, wines with an Italian heritage, be it grape variety or maker might include a Nebbiolo from Barboursville Vineyards, Virginia, or Cabernet Sauvignon Antica reaped from Napa’s Antinori Family Estate.
When not at Seymour Street, the holder of degrees in accountancy and literature and philosophy devotes his time to studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers, and soon, the WSET diploma. He has also written about the fermented grape within the magazine, “Marcheguida”.
Despite operating a global restaurant empire including an eatery at Atlantis, Dubai, and being a judge of the current, ninth season of MasterChef Italia, Locatelli has been intimately involved in ensuring Locanda Locatelli, London gets back on track in times described as the “new normal” to the extent one of his daughters even helps out on reception.
Fortunately, post lockdown, the average spend per person on wines and spirits has actually risen, reports Virgilio Gennaro, Wine Director at Giorgio Locatelli Consultancy. “We’ve received CVs from people including a commis who used to work with us, and an Italian coming from Italy.”
An established restaurant, Locanda Locatelli has fostered a tight-knit sommelier community. “We like to stay in touch with our former sommeliers, many of whom have become famous, such as The Ritz’s Giovanni Ferlito,” says Gennaro.
By Douglas Blyde.