Professor Denis Dubourdieu, one of the world's most respected wine researchers and also a Bordeaux château owner in his own right, has been officially honoured as Decanter Man of the Year 2016 at a celebratory lunch held at Château Haut-Bailly this week. See photo highlights and John Stimpfig's report below.
Denis Dubourdieu formally received his accolade as the Decanter Man of the Year 2016 at a lunch hosted by Château Haut-Bailly on Tuesday 21 June.
In presenting the engraved decanter, Sarah Kemp, Decanter’s managing director paid tribute to Dubourdieu’s extraordinary contribution to wine in the fields of research, teaching, consultancy and winemaking.
Dubourdieu’s key achievements
To re-cap, after initially being turned down for a job at Château Latour as a fresh graduate, Dubourdieu has gone on to:
- Be a consultant to some of the best Bordeaux wine estates, including Château d’Yquem, Cheval Blanc and Margaux (Pavillon Blanc)
- Publish more than 200 research papers
- Teach some of the leading winemakers in Bordeaux and beyond
- Produce wine at his own estates, including Château Reynon, Doisy-Däene and Clos Floridène. He lives at the former with his wife of 40 years, Florence.
- Found a prestigious wine education and research centre called the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, in 2009.
Celebratory lunch at Haut-Bailly
Attending the celebratory event was Dubourdieu’s close family: his father Pierre, wife Florence and two sons Fabrice and Jean-Jacques, who spoke on their father’s behalf.
Also present were clients, colleagues and friends including Frédéric Rouzaud of Louis Roederer Champagne, Pierre Lurton of Château Cheval Blanc, Bob Wilmers and Véronique Sanders of Château Haut-Bailly, Eric Perrin of Château Carbonnieux and Philippe Castéja of Château Batailley.
Decanter’s content director, John Stimpfig, and contributing editors Jane Anson and James Lawther also attended.
So too did the FT’s Jancis Robinson MW OBE, who flew in specially for the lunch. Robinson was herself a recipient of the award in 1999.
The wines served numbered three of Dubourdieu’s own châteaux, beginning with a Reynon Blanc 2014 and a Clos Floridène 2010.
All the red wines poured were from châteaux which Dubourdieu consults for and comprised a Giscours 2010, Batailley 2010, Pichon Comtesse 2006, Carbonnieux 2005, Haut-Bailly 1998 and Cheval Blanc 1998.
The last wine poured was a sublime Doisy-Daene 1949, which was Dubourdieu’s birth year.
The wine was made at the family estate by his father Pierre who spoke about the wine and the vintage.
Dubourdieu is the 33rd Decanter Man of the Year.
The award began in 1984 when it was given to Serge Hochar of Chateau Musar. Other previous winners include Piero Antinori, Christian Moueix, Aubert de Villaine, Angelo Gaja, Paul Symington, Paul Draper, Hugh Johnson and Robert Mondavi.
Photo editing by Chris Mercer