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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
28 Aug 2010

The delightful nonogenarian Thierry Manoncourt, well known to Bordeaux lovers around the world, died peacefully at his home of 63 years, Ch Figeac, yesterday morning.   His funeral is on Monday.

Purple pager and UK representative of the Jurade de St-Émilion Tim Hartley writes:  I know that everybody who loves St-Émilion is going to miss him. He was in many ways the embodiment of all that is best there: the warmth of welcome, the combination of tradition and pride in history with the modern world.  His kindness and the way in which he threw open the doors of Figeac to all, whether they would ever be able to afford to buy a bottle of its wine or not, set a very high standard of welcome.  

The quiet dignity with which he dealt with the decision from the Classification Commission also showed the man he was — not for him a rush to lawyers which would bring the system into disrepute and therefore harm the wider interests of the Jurisdiction for which he had worked so hard during his years as Premier Jurat and more quietly after he left that post.

We shall miss him but can hope and believe that he has left something of his warmth and dedication behind.

See also the enthusiastic tasting notes in Sixty years of Ch Figeac. He had the confidence, and experience of just how beautifully his rather unusually traditional wines age, to remain one of the few proprietors not to be swayed by the whims of winemaking fashion. He was always courtesy itself and deserved his peaceful end.  Ch Figeac is now run by his son-in-law Eric d'Aramon.  His widow Marie-France was for long one of the most vivacious chatelaines in Bordeaux and the two of them regulars on the right bank bridge circuit. Bridge and good wine prolong lives, it would seem.

Much more shocking and cruel is the loss on Friday morning of the hugely talented winemaker Luc Perrin of Domaine Roger Perrin in Châteauneuf-du-Pape at the age of just 45.  HIs funeral will take place at 9.45  on Tuesday morning at the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Orange. He will be very much missed.   

There is no question as to how best these two great talents should be remembered....