Uncorked: David Baverstock
Australian-born, David Baverstock has been making wine in Portugal for as long as he can remember – starting in the Douro with the Symington’s and at Quinta do Crasto, before moving to the Alentejo as head winemaker at Herdade do Esporão 22 years ago.
1955 – a classic Vintage Port year.
What bottle sparked your love of wine?
I was a bit of a late bloomer, but I will never forget a bottle of Musigny 1978 from de Vogüé – a seamless, seductive wine that’s deep, rich and intense
Ambition or talent – what matters more?
I’d say talent because I’m not very ambitious, but I guess you need both.
What would you be as a wine?
I imagine Syrah – something well-balanced like a good Côte Rôtie
Where are you happiest?
In the Alentejo around sunset
What’s your greatest vice?
Port after dinner – it’s dangerous stuff.
Best advice you ever got?
Gunter Prass, who was Orlando’s winemaker, once told me: ‘Never be an armchair winemaker’, and Philip Shaw (Rosemount’s former chief winemaker) taught me to taste blind and say what I’d have done differently, unless of course the wine’s perfect.
Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?
Esporão Torre 2007. It is a special numbered bottle, number one of a small 3000 bottle run of our best wine which was signed by all of my work colleagues as a birthday present a few years ago.
What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?
I guess the travel which wears you out, but then that’s how you get to taste wines all over the world.
Desert island vine?
Which wine would you like served at your funeral?