Jean-Claude Vrinat, owner of Paris's Taillevent restaurant, has died aged 71.
A spokesman for the restaurant announced the death, on 7 January, but gave no details.
Vrinat inherited Taillevent, which he ran with his daughter Valérie, from his father André who opened it in 1946.
Taillevent held three Michelin stars from 1973-2006, and two thereafter. It has one of the most important wine cellars as well as a boutique, Les Caves de Taillevent and a bistro, L’Angle du Faubourg.
Vrinat himself had a particular passion for wine, and was one of the judges in the original ‘judgment of Paris’ wine tasting, at which California prevailed, shocking the wine world.
‘He was the most elegant host, and in my opinion, the best in Paris,’ said Decanter contributor Steven Spurrier, who organised the 1976 tasting. ‘I asked him to be a judge because I knew him, and trusted and respected his taste in wine.’
Spurrier said Vrinat was most notable for his quiet graciousness. ‘I can’t think of another restaurateur whom I admired more. He was a brilliant person and a brilliant wine man.’
Written by Maggie Rosen