Top 10 influential wine consultants10th December, 2013 by Gabriel Savage
4. Stephane Derenoncourt
Clients: Mainly in Bordeaux, including Domaine de Chevalier, Beauséjour and Prieuré Lichine. His international reach covers India, Spain, Austria, Italy, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Morocco, Ukraine and the US, where Derenoncourt works with Inglenook in California and Boxwood in Virginia.
“If you’re looking to communicate the differences in site then Derenoncourt will really help with that,” says Mark Andrew, senior buyer at Roberson Wine, of this Bordeaux-based consultant. “He’s really focused on the vineyard and how to get the best from your fruit if it’s on clay, sand or gravel, which is really important somewhere like the Gironde.”
This viticulturally-focused ethos has won fans further afield. According to Rachel Martin, executive vice-president at Boxwood Estate Winery in Virginia, “Stephane has taught us to respect the vineyard and the fruit. Indeed, she confirms: “Stephane has been our most effective method of improving our wines.”
In other aspects of his work however, Derenoncourt has proved rather more controversial. Earlier this year he outlined in some detail his method of vinifying an entirely separate parcel of wine to create “some little dolls” for his clients to show to trade buyers and critics during Bordeaux’s annual primeurs tastings.