LA MAD ORIGINS
La Mad was born in 2018 in the back of a black cab with Rob having a proper rant to his partners, Allegra & Paul about how difficult it was to source interesting, quirky, low-intervention wines for their West London bar Albertine that were not already available in every wine list of every ‘trendy’ wine bar of London.
Why don’t we apply for a wine import licence, source wines directly and get exclusive import deals at the same time?
said Paul – and Ta Dah! – the seed was sown. So Rob started doing flying visits to France and Italy with the mission to use his connections (and tri-lingual skills) to dig out producers and winemakers that were too small to attract big importers, too quirky, too shy, too lazy or simply fed-up with the headaches that Brexit kicked up. And then over a glass or two convince them to work with us.
Like most naturally good ideas, the operation got up and running and back home even the most classic Albertine drinkers converted with ease and pleasure to the orange wines he had sourced from his friends in Friuli.
Since La Mad started being Albertine’s chief supplier the list grew in character to the extent that we were included in the well-respected Wine List Confidential Guidebook, next to much more prestigious establishments with much deeper pockets than ours. It only made sense then, that as we closed the door of Albertine, we opened La Mad Wine to all of you… with the additional benefit of offering the wines at a much lower price now that we no longer have to cover overheads.
A note on the name: it’s not because it’s a Mad, Mad World, (though of course it is) but Albertine was so called because Albertine’sco-founder, Allegra’s mum, loved Proust’s epic tome ‘Remembrance of Things Past’. Apparently she was particularly drawn to a character called Albertine… or maybe it was just the name she liked, we’ll never know. For the many of us who’ve never managed to conquer his mighty life’s work, the bit we all do know is that memory triggering Madeleine. Hence La Mad.