Professor Denis Dubourdieu, one of the most respected winemakers and wine researchers of his generation, has died in Bordeaux.

Denis Dubourdieu, winemaker, château owner and professor of oenology, has died following a battle with illness, the council for the Bordeaux 1855 classification said today (26 July).

‘The grands crus classés of 1855 offer their heartfelt condolences to the family,’ said council president Philippe Castéja.

One of the greats

Professsor Dubourdieu will be remembered as one of the greats of wine science and winemaking.

He leaves a considerable legacy to both Bordeaux and the wine world in general.

Most wine lovers will have unwittingly benefited from decades of Dubourdieu’s ground-breaking research at some point in their wine drinking lives.

And his contribution as château owner and consultant in Bordeaux itself – particularly on white wines and Sauternes – has been repeatedly praised by wine critics.

Dubourdieu was earlier this year named Decanter Man of the Year 2016. He attended a celebration held in his honour at Château Haut-Bailly in Pessac-Léognan last month.

In a pre-prepared speech, Dubourdieu said he wished to share the award ‘with everyone who has helped me in my long career, and also my family and friends’.

Dubourdieu’s key achievements:

  • Consultant to some of the best Bordeaux wine estates, including Château d’Yquem, Cheval Blanc and Margaux (Pavillon Blanc)
  • Publishing more than 200 research papers
  • Teaching some of the leading winemakers in Bordeaux and beyond
  • Producing wine at his own estates, including Château Reynon, Doisy-Däene and Clos Floridène. He lived at the former with his wife of 40 years, Florence.
  • Founding a prestigious wine education and research centre called the Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin, in 2009.

A full obituary will follow.

Related stories:

Clos Floridène 2015

Without the kick of its sister estate Ch Haura, this Dubourdieu red still delivers a lot of pleasure. Well-balanced raspberry…

Points 88

Château Doisy-Daëne 2015

Very lemony and floral, with precise, delicate aromas and flavours of citrus and saffron. A gentle wine – almost dainty…

Points 93