More Exciting Wines from Mercure’s Flavours from the Cellar Collection

Susie Barrie and Peter Richards have picked another three winners for their cleverly curated wine list available in all Mercure hotels. Peter Morrell has lunch in the London Bridge location and samples the new additions.

Susie and Peter

Susie and Peter

Mercure London Bridge

Mercure London Bridge

Just over a year ago Mercure Hotels launched a novel wine list concept called Flavours from the Cellar. The wines that featured on the list were handpicked by husband and wife team Susie Barrie and Peter Richards, both Masters of Wine. Susie and Peter search for wines that suit the season, are locally inspired, of high quality and are affordable.

I was at the launch and met the couple, they have an engaging down to earth manner and have got the knack of choosing vintages that will be enjoyed by people who are not necessarily wine experts. The Flavours from the Cellar Collection has been a great success and Mercure has now added three new wines, all picked by Susie and Peter.

I recently went along to the Mercure London Bridge recently both to sample the new wines and have lunch in their new restaurant, Marco’s New York Italian, which has a menu designed by Marco Pierre White. I normally match the wine to the food when dining but this time it was the complete opposite. However the variety of dishes on Marco’s menu didn’t make it a problem.

My dining companion and I started with a wine that Susie and Peter have dubbed ‘The Cool Customer‘. It was the Valençay 2014, it’s like a delicious blend of Sancerre and Chablis and is grown on Sébastien Vaillant’s small domain in France’s scenic Loire Valley. It’s a blend of aromatic Sauvignon Blanc and a creamy Chardonnay. There were strong citrus notes on the nose which developed into a rich, astringent palate and it left a good flinty finish.

I chose the calamari fritti with spring onion and chilli for my starter and my companion the crispy New York buffalo wings. These two spicy dishes worked very well with the Valençay 2014, its acidity neutralising the peppery heat.

Next up was a red, the Passimiento 2013, a lovely wine from Sicily that conjurered up thoughts of this warm, exotic island. The main grape in this is the perfumed Frappato grape which is blended with partially dried Nero d’Avola. The result was a silky wine packed with rich, fruity flavours. There were strong hints of black cherries in the bouquet which led to a spicy palate with well balanced tannins that were smooth and satisfying, and the finish was long lasting.

My food pairing with this was a rack of hickory smoked baby back ribs on a bed of fries while my dining partner chose the escalope of chicken milanese and spaghetti with a tomato sauce. Again the strong flavours of the food were more than matched by the Passimiento 2013

Marco’s is a great addition to the Mercure London Bridge with a very comprehensive menu offering a mix of Italian and New York dishes. One word of warning though, the portions are enormous, so with one wine to go my companion and I decided to skip dessert and just enjoy the last of the three in the bright, upbeat atmosphere of the restaurant.

Susie and Peter’s final choice which they have nicknamed ‘The Smoker Seducer’ has got the rather quaint name of Mr P Knows Pinot Noir 2014. Hailing from South Africa it is light in colour and body but this is deceptive as it’s strongly scented, earthy and devilishly seductive. The nose gave lots of cherry and straw tones which evolved into a deep and complex palate that was not overwhelming, the finish was fresh and uplifting.

If you wanted to match food to this then some suggestions from the Marco menu would be macaroni with wild mushrooms, the baked lasagne bolognese or the Italian charcuterie sharing board.

Tasting the wines was a re-confirmation of the talent that Susie and Peter have in seeking out bottles which help us expand our wine drinking horizons.

The Flavours from the Cellar Collection features in all Mercure hotels across the UK

  • The Valençay Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay 2014 costs from £6.75 a glass and £27.50 a bottle
  • The Passimiento Nero d’Avola & Frappato 2013 costs from £6.50 a glass and £26 a bottle
  • The Mr P Knows Pinot Noir 2014 costs from £7.50 a glass and £29.50 a bottle

Mercure London Bridge
71-79 Southwark Street
London SE1 0JA
Tel : (+44)0207/6600683
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