The great and the good of the fine wine world gathered for the 2017 Decanter Man of the Year Award lunch at Le Gavroche Restaurant in London’s Mayfair on Tuesday 28 March in honour of this year’s recipient, Steven Spurrier.

Highlights: Decanter Man of the Year lunch

Guests at the event were made up of professional colleagues, friends and family. Many had flown in from across Europe, the Americas and Asia in order to be present.

Man of the year lunch

Steven Spurrier with Decanter managing director, Sarah Kemp. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

Their number also comprised no less than eleven former Decanter men and women of the year including Aubert de Villaine, Piero Antinori, Angelo Gaja, Michael Broadbent MW, Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, Jancis Robinson MW OBE, Jean-Pierre Perrin, Ernst Loosen, Alvaro Palacios, Nicolas Catena and Hugh Johnson OBE.

Man of the year lunch

Michael Broadbent and Marchese Piero Antinori, who are both former Men of the Year in 1993 and 1986 respectively. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

The inscribed cut glass Decanter Award was formally presented to Steven Spurrier by Decanter’s managing director Sarah Kemp and content director, John Stimpfig.

‘It’s about people who make a real difference. As a passionate writer, critic, communicator, educator and wine producer, Steven Spurrier could not be more deserving of this honour,’ said Sarah Kemp.

‘What you have brought to the wine world is openness. For you, the only thing that counts is quality. You are label-agnostic, and as such you have opened the eyes and filled the glasses of wine lovers around the world.’

Man of the year lunch

Ernst Loosen (Man of the Year in 2005) with Angelo Gaja (Man of the Year in 1998). Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

Michel Roux Jnr prepared and cooked a stunning four course menu which was paired with wines which had been personally chosen by Steven Spurrier.

Man of the year lunch

Journalist, author and broadcaster Oz Clarke (left) and Eduardo Chadwick of Vina Errazuriz. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

On arrival, guests were welcomed with the new Torres sparkling wine Cuvée Esplendor Vardon Kennett 2013, which was poured for the first time ever in the UK.

Man of the year lunch

Jancis Robinson MW, OBE and Woman of the Year in 1999. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

A home cured var Salmon was matched with Domaine A&P de Villaine’s Aligote Bouzeron 2015 and the Ridge Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2014 from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Man of the year lunch

Mireia Torres Maczassek (Director of Torres Priorat and Jean Leon wineries) represented the Torres family. Her father Miguel Torres was Decanter Man of the Year in 2001. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

A main course of grilled loin and braised cheek of pork was served with two clarets: the Chateau Langoa-Barton 2001 and the Chateau Trotanoy 2005.

Man of the year lunch

Sarah Kemp Decanter Managing Director delivers her speech congratulating Steven Spurrier on his award. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

The cheese course, comprising an aged Mimolette and 5 year old Davidstow cheddar, was served alongside the O Fournier, Fundacion 2014 DOSS from the Ribera del Duero and the 2013 Sena from the Aconcagua Valley in Chile.

Man of the year

Chef Michel Roux Jnr

Dessert was Yorkshire rhubarb with coconut crumble, vanilla parfait and sloe gin exquisitely paired with the delicious 2014 Bride Valley Rose Bella.

Man of the year lunch

Guests flew in from all over the world to attend the lunch.

Coffee and petits fours were served with Nittardi’s 2010 Grappa from Tuscany and Delamain’s Pale and Dry XO Grande Champagne Cognac.

Man of the year lunch

Steven Spurrier receives his engraved Decanter from Content Director, John Stimpfig. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

The Decanter Man of the Year awards have been running for over 30 years and recognizes both excellence and an outstanding contribution to wine.

Man of the year lunch

Guests enjoy Steven Spurrier’s amusing and entertaining speech. From left to right: Nicolas Catena (Man of the Year in 2009), Olivier Bernard of Domaine de Chevalier, Michael Broadbent (Man of the Year in 1993), Adam Brett-Smith of Corney & Barrow, Gerard Basset MW, OBE, MS (Man of the Year in 2013), Roy Richards and Gelasio Gaetani D’Aragona Lovatelli. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

 

Man of the year lunch

From left to right, Piero Antinori (Man of the Year in 1986), Steven Spurrier and Aubert de Villaine (Man of the Year in 2010) raise their glasses. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter

 

Man of the year lunch

Hugh Johnson OBE (Man of the Year in 1995) pays tribute to this year’s recipient. Credit: Cath Lowe/Decanter