It’s always nice to find a really good new London restaurant that also takes wine seriously. Neo Bistro, a stone’s throw from Bond Street tube, is an absolute gem. I went there on Tuesday night with wine buddies Ben Henshaw (Indigo Wine), Greg Sherwood (Handford Wine) and Daniel Primack (the Zalto dude and Code 38 pimp). It would have been hard to have a bad time with these guys (especially as we were bringing our own wines), but our evening was massively enhanced by the incredible food and the excellent service. It’s also a beautiful space.
We had the tasting menu, which sort of blew us away. We weren’t expecting it to be this good. There was variety, and the emphasis was on sensitive, delicate preparation without gimmicks, using excellent ingredients. It was £45 with an optional extra of the scallop dish for £8, which as tasting menus go, was well priced.
The wine list is small but really creatively chosen. There are nine whites and 10 reds, plus a couple of rosés and an orange wine. It’s not a natural list, but has some natural elements around the fringes. Each wine seems to earn its place and prices are good. There’s also a board of specials (this is where I found the Kindeli Pet Nat that I wrote up yesterday). Corkage policy hasn’t been decided yet, but the cost of the cheapest bottle might be a good place to begin (£23).
We drank well. I will highlight just a few of the wines.
Envinate Benje 2016 Santiago del Teide, Tenerife, Spain
This is a Listan Branco, grown at 1000 m from ungrafted vines 70-100 years old, 60% fermented in concrete and 40% in barrel. There was a 15% portion of skin contact. Very fine and fresh with lovely precision. Lemony fruit with some minerality. Taut and complex with nice density. Briny and expressive, but has depth. Not an obvious wine but a very lovely one. 94/100
Prieuré Roch Bourgogne 14 Roses 2014 Burgundy, France
Just 1200 bottles made of this rosé, which shows a full pink colour and has fresh, intense flavours of red cherries and plums with a lovely texture and some spicy detail. So long and interesting. 92/100
Jean Claude Ramonet Pernand Vergelesses ‘Les Belles Filles’ 2014 Burgundy, France
This is pretty distinctive. There’s a bit of matchstick and spice on the nose, and the palate is detailed and expressive, showing understatement and purity, but also nice detail. It’s proper white Burgundy, in a delicate but thought-provoking mode. 94/100
Evening Land La Source Seven Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Eola-Amity Hills, Oregon
Yet another hit from Evening Land, this was just singing. Expressive and leafy with lovely complexity. Delivers silky fruit pleasure but also spice and fine-grained tannins with red cherries and plums. Beguiling and quite delicious. 95/100
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com