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Excuse the pun, Jacques Boissenot who reigned in the Left Bank Bordeaux can be called the right wing of Émile Peynaud.
Peynot taught Jacques a lot or, rather, everything, including “flying”. As a result, the very same Decanter awarded Jacques Boissenot the title of Winemaker of the Decade. Peynaud’s student clearly grasped the Master’s main testament: to modernize wine production as much as possible, without forgetting the history and traditions. Jacques Boissenot died in 2014 at the age of 76, for many years he carried the title of a flying winemaker. During the last 20 years of his life, his son Eric assisted him.
Jacques Boissenot was against excessive lengthening of the processes of maceration and aging, was an opponent of gravitational methods, arguing that in order to create a good wine grapes should be subjected to soft pressing. He supported and recommended that clients conduct malolactic fermentation along with the alcoholic one.
Despite his status, Jacques Boissenot was known as a modest man. If you look at his office, located in a small house in the town of Lamarck at the border of Margaux and Saint-Julien communities, you could never tell he had advised the four out of five Premier Grand Crus Classés (Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux, Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Latour). In total, under the reliable wing of Jacques Boissenot, there were about 190 chateaux, 90% of which are located on the Left Bank of Gironde River.
The role of the flying winemaker in life of Boissenot is more likely an accident than a pattern. He was born in Beirut, where his father did military service and could stay in Lebanon forever, and only in his youth had he learned what is wine under a cork, as his parents used to buy inexpensive jug wine, poured in large glass containers. Boissenot dreamed of a veterinarian’s career but after a friend said “study to be a winemaker, this is an easy job,” he followed the advice and entered the faculty of oenology. But the job wasn’t an easy one. And some time later he met Émile Peynaud and became his right hand, or right wing, in a new profession – a wine consultant, a flying winemaker. The name Boissenot is associated with fashion for elegant fruity Cabernets.
Photo: chngpohtiong.com, sudouest.fr, facebook.com/wineatkingpower, connectionstowine.cavendoclient.com