Food Type: European
Glass Price: £ £6 (125 ml)
Phone number: 020 7436 3261
Like a majestic bird of prey hunting for the choicest quarry, the Portland team homes in on the most exciting, characterful bottles and plucks them singly, with a confident, uncompromising swoop, from the wide, wide world of wine, presenting them on a fresh and fascinating list.
What this perhaps laboured metaphor is getting at is that the list at Portland, while brief, is packed with intriguing drinking options, representing the finest artisanal producers, wherever in the world they might reside.
Co-owner Will Lander (also co-owner of Wine List Confidential standout Quality Chop House) is the son of wine world imperatrix Jancis Robinson MW. It shows. Not for nothing was the QCH's list named Europe's Best Short Wine List by the World of Fine Wine in 2014.
The wine list changes monthly, with around 50 labels at any one time. Clearly organised under the headings 'Textbook' (pleasingly Partridgean), 'Special' and 'Leftfield' (the latter broken down in to single-bottle examples of 'Orange Wine', 'Skin Contact' and 'Oxidative'), the list allows diners to try almost everything by the glass.
Interestingly, and in fact sensibly, it also leads with a description of the style of the wine before naming the wine itself.
Those wishing to keep it classical might plump for a chalky, lemony 'Tuffo' 2015 Vouvray from the talented Damien Pinon (£42) or a structured, semi-serious Renato Ratti, ‘Battaglione’ Barbera 2014 (£38).
More geeky stuff includes the beautifully poised David Franz Long Gully Road Semillon from Barossa – made from c.129-year-old Maderia clone Semillon bush vines, or an orange Pinot Noir from Stapleton & Springer in the Czech Republic (£38).
A separate single-bottle list represents a diverse bunch of some of the more famous names and historic vintages. This is a thrilling collection offered at a generous margin to the diner – eg, 2001 Vouvray Marc Bredif for just £65 and 1998 Château Balestard claret for £58.
Michelin-star dining complemented by a stellar wine list.
By Darren Smith
• ‘Les 7’ Extra Brut NV, Laherte Freres, Champagne, France - sparkling - £135
• Riesling ‘Generations’ 2015, Axel Pauly, Mosel, Germany - white - £41
• Kékfrankos 2012, Sauska, Villány, Hungary - red - £50
• Côtes-du-Jura 2011, Domaine Macle, Jura, France - white - £64
• Les Allées de Cantermerle 2012, Château Cantemerle, Haut-Medoc, France - red - £55
• Riesling Saering 2012, Domaine Dirler-Cade, Alsace, France - white - £72