Three bottles: the remarkable Steven Spurrier

An overdue return for the three bottles.  Those with the questions in your inbox: you know who you are.

There is no shortage of ego in this business (I think I’ve said that before).  There are plenty of chaps who think they’re James Bond because they’ve sold a couple of cases of Lafite.  And plenty of chaps who like to shout.  But the people I most respect in the wine trade are those that just get on with it.  And, of course, those with some manners.

Whilst wondering what I would say about Steven Spurrier I came across a brilliant profile by Jancis Robinson (FWIW a lady who just gets on with it), and I can’t better it.  The link is at the bottom of the page.

I thank Mr Spurrier for his answers.  As is so often the case, it is those that really know what they’re talking about who speak softly.

What was the first wine/bottle that got you into the whole wine thing? 

Cockburn 1908 on Christmas Eve 1954.  I was thirteen and had just gone to Rugby and my Grandfather told the butler that I was old enough for a glass of Port.  I was totally stunned by it.  “What is it Grandpa?”  Cockburn ’08 my boy”.  58 years later at the Cockburn tasting that the Symingtons put on in Oporto it was the best wine on the table.

What was the first wine/bottle that took you closer to your maker?

Ch. Lafite-Rothschild 1806 recorked at the chateau in 1953 and drunk with five friends in September 1969 at the Restaurant Darroze at Villeneuve de Marsan.   I could not have imagined that wine could have such magical properties at 153 years of age.  The price was 1500 French Francs (around £125).  Ten years later, as Christie’s representative in France for wine, I helped pack up most of Monsieur Darroze’s cellar and his last bottle of Lafite 1806 fetched a then record price of over $100,000.

What was the best wine/bottle you have had this year? – OK, the past twelve months.

Richebourg 1999 DRC drunk with Philip Capdouze (after Richebourg 1996 DRC) in Singapore three weeks ago, total energy and fabulous sense of place.

Jancis Robinson on Mr Spurrier: HERE

Steven: thank you again