Top 10 influential wine consultants

10th December, 2013 by Gabriel Stone

2. Michel Rolland

Michel RollandClients: Over 150 worldwide, but especially in Bordeaux, including Figeac, Pontet-Canet and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé “A” châteaux Ausone, Angelus and Pavie. This year his services were secured by Vignobles André Lurton, which manages an extensive Bordeaux estate portfolio. Among a number of joint ventures are Clos de los Siete in Argentina, Bonne Nouvelle in South Africa and R&G in Spain. China’s state-owned conglomerate COFCO uses him as a consultant across its domestic and imported wine portfolio and he is also involved with Armavir in Armenia.

If you’ve heard of only one name on this list, the chances are it’s Rolland. “Amazing for the blending,” according to Daniel Cathiard of Smith Haut Lafitte, Rolland sometimes attracts controversy for promoting style over site – although he is as quick as any other consultant to deny that he uses a recipe. Nevertheless, if Parker points are important to your winery then the US critic’s palate often seems particularly attuned to Rolland wines.

What’s more Rolland’s influence is helping to drive debate within the wine trade on the merits – or otherwise – of an emerging trend towards “hyperselection” through the use of optical sorting machines.

“Michel Rolland is a big proponent,” notes Mark Andrew, senior buyer at Roberson Wine. Summing up the arguments for and against this modern addition to a winemaker’s toolkit, Andrew acknowledges: “initially it’s a good thing.” However, he argues that such pursuit of perfection in terms of fruit quality can prove counterproductive.

“I think you can take these things too far,” comments Andrew. “If you eradicate anything not 100% ripe then your alcohol levels will go up and you’ll have less acidity. By over-selecting you go after a style of wine that eliminates a lot of terroir signature.”

10 Responses to “Top 10 influential wine consultants”

  1. Kevin Robinson says:

    Amazingly, you left out David Ramey who Robert Parker claimed as one of the best in our industry!

  2. Greg Gillooly says:

    I’ve always maintained that there are only two stories to tell in all of fine wine promotion: the ” hallowed ground” story and the “magic chef” story. Now the “magic chefs” come to the “hallowed ground” where ever it may be. What a wonderful world this is!
    //

  3. Tom Payette says:

    So proud to see my mentor Mr. Boissenot and his son as the number one. You have his this spot on in ranking as best you could. Mr. Boissnot and his family are top notch and have taught me so very much. A Votre Sante !

  4. Andrew Healy says:

    Not a mention of Philippe Melka or Guy Anderson……

  5. Jamie Smith says:

    solid list and respect to wine consultants in shaping the wine supply chain and building wine brands!

  6. VinConnect says:

    Philippe Cambie and Philippe Melka would like to have a word with you…

  7. winedoggie says:

    You also left out Nick Goldschmidt. Over 30 years in the industry, consulting all over the world and makes some really amazing wines.

  8. sukumar das says:

    i like to set up a plant and seeking for consultancy

  9. Manjush Garg says:

    We are looking at setting up a wine import branding and sales platform and are on a look out for Wine Consultants and Tasters to guide us select some good wines from each wine producing region. Look forward to your inputs on this.

    • andrew says:

      HI Manjush,
      I represent a range of Australia and New Zealands largest and finest wine brands. Let me know how I can help you.
      Andrew

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