Edmund Penning-Rowsell, one of Decanter's earliest contributors, has died aged 88.

Penning-Rowsell was among the first writers commissioned by the magazine in the l970s. He went on to inform readers of the relative merits of Bordeaux wines and their vintages – in particular – for the rest of the century.

He was a late-comer to full-time wine writing, but achieved success in his 50s as both chairman of the Wine Society and very first wine correspondent for the Financial Times. His forte was telling both Decanter and FT readers what to buy, what to lay down and what to pay for the privilege of owning.

His knowledge extended to wine regions worldwide but his real expertise lay in Bordeaux. He was an early en primeur expert, helping readers to spend and chose wisely at the annual Bordeaux barrel tastings.

Appraising Bordeaux vintages was a forte and ‘when will it be ready to drink?’ was a question that followed him everywhere. It wasn’t always an easy one to answer. ‘After all the 1870s didn’t come round until the twenties and the 1928s took almost as long,’ he wrote for Decanter in December 1995.

Written by Liz Hughes6 March 2002