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Les 110 de Taillevent’s guide to summer wines

The iconic, Michelin-starred Taillevent restaurant in Paris, originally owned by Jean-Claude Vrinat, now belongs to the Gardinier family who continue to honour its legacy. Since opening in London in 2015, Les 110 de Taillevent have been treating their British diners to an exquisite menu and extensive wine list inspired by that of their original restaurant. Les 110, or Cent Dix, as it is fondly referred to, offers 110 wines by the glass to suit any occasion and all pockets. Gemma de Cruz visited their elegant Cavendish Square dining room and was immediately taken by Managing Director Nicola Munari’s infectious passion for, and detailed understanding of, fine wine.

Nicola Munari’s selection

Emmanuel Brochet, Champagne Le Mont Benoit, NV

From a 2.5 hectare plot, one of the most recognisable Champagnes produces today. Stick your nose in the glass and you’ll say “Ah… c’est Brochet!” (“It’s Brochet!”). Made largely from grapes originating from the principal vintage, and partly from reserve wines, this Champagne is rich, complex and precise, with a unique personality.

Il Caberlot, Podere Il Carnasciale, 2011

A fabulous wine, a unique grape, from an ‘haute¬†couture’ winery in the heart of Tuscany. Moritz Rogosky is a sophisticated, elegant and incredibly interesting man, and so are his wines, of which only three thousand or so magnums are produced annually. It’s a smooth, velvety and naturally classy wine. One of my all time favourites.Chateau Phelan Segur, Saint Estephe, 2005

Chateau Phelan Segur, Saint Estephe, 2005

Thierry, Laurent and Stephane Gardinier, owners of the Taillevent group, also own this magnificent Chateau in Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux. This has become our second home, we are very attached to it. The property is stunning and the Bordeaux wines are noble, rich and elegant, with great ageing potential.

Mongioia, MoscatoD’Asti Crivella, 2011

This is spring in a glass! Sparkling, a touch of sweetness, the most delicate floral notes. As close as there is to a definition of deliciousness.

Maxime Magnon, La Begou, Corbieres, 2014

In a lesser known appellation in the south of France, Maxime Magnon is producing the most exciting wines from Grenache blanc and Grenache gris grapes. Perfumed, charming, lively and vibrant, it’s the Burgundy of the south.

Vermouth Maidenii

With 30 years of winemaking experience all over the world, Gilles Lapalus is now in Australia, producing one of the best and most interesting Vermouths that I have ever tried. Its explosion of flavour, persistence and perfumes are all mind blowing. It’s perfect for cocktails, delicious on it’s own.

Gemma de Cruz sits down with Nicola Munari

Les 110 is a laboratory where we wanted to create an experience of total and immediate fusion between the kitchen, the sommeliers and our customers – playing with a fantastic palette of flavours, perfumes and textures.

This concept is simple, flexible and based on interaction. If you read across the menu, you see four different wines and four different angles and visions, covering all budgets, paired with each dish. The core format here in the UK replicates Les 1110 in Paris, but the approach and the expression is evolving according to the London palate, the flow of the seasons and of our inspiration.

Everybody can find their cup of tea (even better, their glass of wine) at Les 110 – from fine and rare wine lovers, wine Bohemians, attentive foodies and casual diners to those here for the ¬£25 set menu. We take pride in crafting tailored food and wine experiences for everyone who comes to the restaurant, based on their tastes, needs and moods. “Bespoke experience” is very much the watchword at Les 110.

Being from Italy, I grew up in an environment where cooking a meal, serving and savouring it, is a collective experience. It’s a moment of exchange and discussion where people grow together. I take a great deal of pleasure seeing that at the restaurant people feel at home at Les 110.

I became interested in wine while choosing a subject for my dissertation at university. I wanted to find a subject where I would never stop learning, where I would be able to travel, feel emotions, meet people and enrich my life, and that’s what wine does.

Wine is synonymous with sharing and learning. I spent a few years working and travelling in Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I met some extraordinary people, saw stunning places and built my experience. I then felt the need to come back to what could be considered the Greek and Latin of food and wine: Paris, French gastronomy and the great classics of French wine.

I have a true passion for what I like to call ‘meditational’ wines. These are wines where everything is said in the bottle, in terms of both flavour and mindset. All you need to go with it is a sunset, a large comfortable chair and a good selection of classical music. This is especially true for very old wines. In Paris, we store wines and spirits dating back to the beginning of the 19th Century. It’s amazing to think that such a bottle was produced at the time when Napoleon was ruling Europe, changing the destiny of modern history. I often think about all the people who have lived, loved and died since then, about how the world has changed while these wines were laying in silence, hidden in the darkness of a secret cellar.

Thanks to Art & Music Publications

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