Ahead of his feature interview in this month's Decanter magazine, Christian Moueix tells Andrew Jefford about his love of poetry, despair for Bordeaux's neglected vineyards and the best piece of advice he ever received.
What is the best piece of wine advice you have been given? And who gave it?
At table, my father would often ask ‘What is the first quality of wine?’ and then provide the reply, which was ‘Quantity’. This was his humorous way of asking for more wine – but it has meant that when producing my family’s wines, I have always kept ‘drinkability’ in mind. I think this is very important indeed.
If you could wave a magic wand to change one thing in the wine world/Bordeaux, what would it be?
I wish that every producer would pay attention to their vineyards. I am a farmer at heart, and it hurts me to see vineyards which cry out for more care.
What has been your proudest achievement in wine?
The creation of Dominus Estate in the Napa Valley.
What has been your biggest disappointment?
You might not believe me, but I am disappointed that top Bordeaux costs so much. It means that many great restaurants now have just a handful of top Bordeaux red wines, and that the younger generation of drinkers and sommeliers barely knows Bordeaux.
What is the greatest wine that you have tasted that you weren’t personally involved in?
I am not a fan of superlatives and the appreciation of wine is always relative. That said, I think the wines which have impressed me the most were Pétrus 1947, Lafleur 1950 and Inglenook 1946.
Outside of wine, what are your main passions and pastimes?
I enjoy contemporary art, especially sculpture, and my travels allow me to appreciate architecture. A good book of poetry is transporting – and I always enjoy a good day at the races.
Read Andrew Jefford’s full interview with Christian Moueix in the March 2015 issue of Decanter, on sale now. Download Decanter for iPad or subscribe to Decanter magazine
Written by Andrew Jefford