The Cellar in King’s Cross: Flavoursome low-intervention wines in a laid-back setting
Previously known to the neighbourhood as a coffee shop serving freshly ground cups, The Cellar has now become a cosy wine bar. This venue on Pentonville Road – which still serves good coffee – is the second outpost by wine lovers Mike White and Michael O’Sullivan, who started their first venture in September 2020 in the Cotswolds, within a Grade-II-listed building at the centre of Stow-on-the-Wold. Interior-wise, they aim to revive the history of each space: the London site, previously a butcher, showcases exposed bricks, concrete colours and rustic furniture.
The philosophy connecting both places draws inspiration from the buzz of Mediterranean cities where tasting and sharing are common in relaxed, convivial settings. At the core, there is a menu enlisting only low-intervention wines, all from small producers that celebrate the diversity of locations and rich variety of grapes. Thanks to an update of the bottles about every three or four months, the offer stays seasonal.
There is a balanced selection of whites and reds. Our first pick is a Vermentino 2019 from Tuscany (Antonio Camillo), mineral and aromatic. We also choose the skin contact Tragolargo Blanco 2020 from Levant, Spain (Finca Casa Balaguer), fleshy and acidic on the tongue. Refreshing is an adjective that can be applied to most of the tasting – including our red glasses. Lo Petit Fantet d’Hippolyte 2020, from Corbieres (Ollieux Romanis), is slightly spiced, although the bouquet doesn’t reveal much per se, and it’s a little angular. The Ink Zweigelt/St Laurent 2019 from Burgenland (Judith Beck) bears such a distinct crispness that it is suggested to serve it after a few minutes in the fridge. But we prefer it at room temperature, appreciating its juicy and fruity tang.
The only sparkling option, the Frizzante Non Filtrato from Veneto (Lemoss), is particularly interesting. It’s made with prosecco grapes but the second fermentation occurs inside the bottle, resulting in finer taste and cloudier liquid. The perlage doesn’t reach champagne level, but it’s a pleasant choice nonetheless, with a slightly more complex finish than your usual prosecco.
Charcuterie and cheese boards nicely complement the tasting. Ham and salami are provided courtesy of the artisanal Saltpig Curing Company, based in the Cotswolds and specialising in pig meat. The British curds arrive accompanied by a small sourdough array from London Fields’ very own Bread Station.
This comfy spot offers up flavoursome low-intervention wines in a hipster, laid-back local setting.
Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at The Cellar, 258 Pentonville Road London N1 9JY, call or visit their website here.