New on Wine List Confidential: Ormer

Ormer not only refers to ear-shaped abalone, but chef Sean Rankin’s London restaurant at the rehabilitated Fleming’s Hotel, Mayfair – he previously simultaneously operated Ormer in St Helier, Jersey.

Bar three wines, Ormer’s calibrated list focuses on wines which are clean and precise in flavour – more vin than vinegar, with the term ‘orange’ only appearing in comparison to the citrus fruit in tasting notes rather than method of production. This is ably overseen by personable, Andreas Rosendal, Master Sommelier candidate and Director of Wine for Flemings. His previous form includes The Wesbury and Restaurant Sat Bains.

Rosendal has created an approachable and appealing list, especially considering the environs. ‘Being in Mayfair, and considering we have more than 30 wines below £40, the list has been incredibly well received,’ he says. ‘I think that guests simply like to have options and do not want to feel pressured to choose the most expensive wine on the list.’ Prices range from the early £20s per bottle to £4,500 (plus service charge) for Petrus ‘90. ‘Still, we sell more Bordeaux and Burgundy at the upper end of the price range than we do house wines,’ he adds.

Now in the restaurant’s second year, Rosendal mentions his team has learnt much since opening day. ‘That is why we have expanded our list, adding 30% more wines and making it more diverse and interesting. We now have wines from more than 22 countries, including Syria and Uruguay by the glass and Armenia.’ Ormer also can lay claim to having one of the largest selections of English wine in UK, including library stock from Ridgeview, Gusbourne and Nyetimber. Indeed, Nyetimber’s ‘10 Classic Cuvée is poured by the glass from magnum, while ‘the first sparkling they made: the 1992 Blanc de Blancs’ is also in reserve alongside single vineyard, Tillington, says Rosendal.

On working with Rankin, Rosendal finds it ‘simply amazing’ to watch him at work in the kitchen. ‘The produce he is able to bring from Jersey is just world-class and his cooking really brings out the best of these ingredients. When it comes to the wine, it has been a lot more straightforward than I anticipated. All of Shaun’s dishes are well defined and balanced to start with, making the flavours really clean. Therefore, I find that pairing wines with his food comes really naturally.’

Starters may include lobster ravioli with crab and tomato bisque, shallot salad and coriander, or an excellent beef tartare with smoked oyster mayonnaise and salted egg crumb, followed by salt baked sea bass with Parma ham, black olive caramel and saffron, or ‘secreto’ of Iberico pork with calamari, chorizo and apple chutney. Owing to its victory on BBC’s Great British Menu, Rankin is rightly celebrated for his original treacle tart served to returning soldiers from Afghanistan. This joyous pudding could dovetail with a soupçon of 20-year-old Moscatel from Valencia, or even sweet cider from Asturias…

The best seat in the house, incidentally, is the semi-private table in the heart of the restaurant, located beside the wine display.

Finally, remember to make time for a cocktail in the velvety bar next-door, where spirits include the exotic, marmite spirit, Baijiu from China.

To see the WLC position and scores for this review click here

 

Wine List Confidential, brought to you by the drinks business, is the first platform to rank London’s restaurants on the strength of their wine list alone, providing a comprehensive guide to the best restaurants in the capital for wine lovers.

Restaurants are graded on a 100-point scale based on five criteria: size, value, service, range and originality. For a full guide to London’s best wine lists visit winelistconfidential.com

the drinks business published the inaugural 2017 Wine List Confidential: One to Sixty-One guide last year. We are currently working on a new 2018 edition and are busy re-reviewing top-scoring restaurants and adding new entries to the database. Check back later in the year for final scoring and position of restaurants. 

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