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Yquem by the glass heads to London

Chateau d'Yquem lovers will soon be able to buy it by the glass at a restaurant in London's West End.

Photo: Bob Bob Ricard co-owner Leonid Shutov

Bob Bob Ricard in Upper James Street is believed to be the only restaurant in the UK offering Chateau d’Yquem 1996 by the glass, charging £29 for 100ml or £14.50 for 50ml from 8 February.

That equates to a price of about £109 per half-bottle, compared to £310 for the same vintage on the list at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, for example.

Restaurant co-owner Leonid Shutov has bought 672 bottles of Yquem 1996 direct from the château, which he expects to sell within nine months to a year – the equivalent of three to four half-bottles a day.

‘We pay the full market price and have no commercial advantage over any other restaurant or retailer,’ Shutov told Decanter.com.

‘The chateau chooses a small number of restaurants in several countries which serve their wine by the glass that it chooses to recommend, of which Bob Bob Ricard is the first UK restaurant.’

Shutov added that the restaurant’s value-led business model ‘requires a great deal of capital, tolerance for risk and patience – all qualities not readily available in many corporately owned or managed restaurants of today’.

The move follows a similar exercise undertaken by Yquem in select restaurants in Paris, Monaco and the French Alps, with the Castel Paris nightclub, for example, offering Yquem at €50 a glass.

Yquem director Pierre Lurton has likened the idea to the similar tactic pursued by Champagne houses to increase consumption of their cuvées de prestige.

Written by Richard Woodard

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