Gordon Lawrence: DWWA 2014 judge

  • Wednesday 5 February 2014

Find out more about the world-renowned names that make up the 2014 Decanter World Wine Awards judging line-up in this Q&A series.

Gordon Lawrence

Gordon Lawrence is head sommelier at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. His working life began in the world of finance in London but he switched careers in 2001 when he moved to Cornwall with his family and joined the team at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant.

Read our interview with Gordon Lawrence below...

Which year or decade do you wish you'd been born in and why?
I’m pretty happy with the 1960s as it enabled me to indulge and drink some truly great wines in the 1980s and 1990s.

☆ How old were you when you had your first wine 'moment' and what was it?
Mmmm… probably about 16. It was Krug, my old man loved the stuff. I remember thinking that it was a really bonkers drink which had it all going on!

☆ How many bottles do you have in your cellar and what is your most recent addition?
Maybe 200. 2005 and 2007 Felsina 'Rancia'.

☆ How many years have you been working in the wine industry and what was your first job?
Only 12 years but I had a passion for wine from a much earlier time. My first job involving wine was working front of house for Rick Stein.

☆ Which vintage and region (or wine) do you wish you'd bought a whole case of wine from?
I wish I’d bought more of Marie et Pierre Benetière’s Côte Rotie 'Cordeloux' 2006. I only got two bottles and they needed a bit longer but tasted amazing anyway, so we drank them both.

☆ In the last 12 months, which grape have you drunk the most of?
Sangiovese.

☆ In the last 12 months, what's the most exciting region you've discovered or re-discovered and why?
Northern Rhône. I’ve totally fallen in love with these wines again. I think there is a huge choice of more elegant wines with poise and restraint coming out of the region.

☆ Who’s your wine idol (who has inspired you the most in the wine world)?
The 'Don', David Gleave MW. A charming man.

☆ What’s your most memorable wine and food moment?
A Barbaresco in Piemonte, Bruno Rocca's 'Rabaja', with wood-fired pigeon breast. The combination of smoky, gamey flavours with the richness of the wine was quite extraordinary.

☆ If you could taste/drink any wine in the world what would it be and who would you drink it with?
Giacomo Conterno’s Barolo 'Monfortino' 1990 - with my gorgeous wife Vanessa, Jesus, J.F. Kennedy and Eric Cantona.

☆ What's the highest number of wines you've had on one of your wine lists?
About 120.

☆ What is the oldest bottle of wine you’ve served?
Yalumba ‘Museum Reserve’ 50 Year-Old Tawny NV. I think we drank it all, it was incredible.

☆ What are you most looking forward to about judging at the Decanter World Wine Awards?
Meeting people and exchanging views.

For more information on this year's competition, including how to enter, visit the Decanter World Wine Awards website

Panel tastings

Wine labels from some of the world's most famous wines