Yesterday Thierry Manoncourt passed away at the age of 92. Monsieur Manoncourt had run the exceptional Chateau Figeac(Premier Grand Cru Classe) since the 1947 vintage. He was a pioneer for many modern wine practises such as the use of 100% new oak for certain vintages; the effective use of malo lactic fermentation; varietal seperate fermentation. He also founded the Union de Grands Crus, which is now an effective promotional group for many top Chateaux.
I only met Monsieur Manoncourt once many years ago in Saint Emilion. I always felt that he was an extremely gracious and pleasant, friendly face of Saint Emilion.
Jancis Robinson wrote some splendid notes on Thierry Manoncourt's many many achievements over 3 years ago. Click here to see the full article. It is quite something for one man to have made the wine at one property for 63 years!.....But also to maintain an exceptional quality over all that time.