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New London wine club plans to list top chateaux at ‘low mark-ups’

A new private members club for wine lovers is to open in London’s historic ‘clubland’ district of St James later this summer, following years of planning and offering hundreds of wines by the glass and thousands by the bottle.

The club, named 67 Pall Mall, is the brainchild of hedge fund manager and collector Grant Ashton, together with 39 wine loving backers.

‘We wanted an exciting social venue where like-minded oenophiles can drink and enjoy great wine at very attractive prices,’ Ashton told Decanter.com. One example is the 1989 Haut-Brion, which will be on 67 Pall Mall’s list at around £1,200. That is cheaper than some merchants’ retail prices.

‘The list starts from £40 a bottle and will represent excellent quality and value for money throughout,’ said Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, who is 67 Pall Mall’s head of wines. ‘For instance, a £40 bottle would have a retail value of £25. Rather than applying the industry standard, we are adding a low cash mark-up to each wine. Corkage will be just £20 a bottle.’

67 Pall Mall will also put on a full programme of wine events for its members including wine education, dinners, masterclasses and tastings. Members will be able to store up to 36 bottles from their own collections at the club, which has storage for 2,600 cases.

Situated by St James Palace, 67 Pall Mall is a grade 2 listed building that was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and used to be the West End branch of Hambro’s Bank. It has been comprehensively renovated over the last twelve months in time for its forthcoming launch.

According to Ashton, more than 1,000 members have joined, including a number of well-known fine wine producers, merchants and writers. Approximately 200 places still remain available before the list will be closed.

Fees include a one off joining fee of £1,000 and an annual membership rate of £1,000. However, for those under 27, the annual fee will be £500 per annum. Expected to open in July, the club will be run by a membership committee that has a number of grandees from the wine trade.

Updated 27/03/2015 to add that more than 1,000 members have joined the club and that hundreds of wines will be available by the glass.

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Written by John Stimpfig

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