Michel Rolland has defended his role as an international wine consultant capable of managing the quality of wine on up to 200 wine estates around the world.
In an interview on today’s Harpers.co.uk, Rolland explains why he thinks wine consultants play such an important role in the global wine industry.
He said: “The greatest wines are like Formula 1. Their performance is linked to the terroir first – people have a relatively low influence on the outcome, however, those who make adjustments successfully are those who win the race.”
He explained how he is currently working with Chateau Figeac in St Emilion in Bordeaux to try and turn in to a Grand Cru Classe A property. A move that has been criticised by some Bordeaux observers who question what impact Rolland will have on Figeac’s wines.
He told Harpers.co.uk: “I am sorry but I can’t comment on this issue further. After 40 years working in oenology, I feel no need to justify myself regarding the inevitable attacks from critics. But I’m sure that at least one of the fans won’t be disappointed: me! Because I’ve always been fond of the wines of Figeac.”
He said he was proud of the wines produced from the notoriously difficult 2013 vintage. “Figeac will release a 2013 wine onto the market. The wine has been made together with all the team and we are very proud of it. I can already say that the wine is intense, full bodied, balanced, harmonious, with delicate tannins and a long finish. Ultimately, though, the consumer has to give their opinion, not me.”
He also dismissed claims from critics that there is a ‘Rolland style’ on the wines he consults for. “I’m not tired of this statement, because it’s simply not true. Those who say that should bes erious enough to stop. During a blind tasting, nobody is able to recognise a particular consultant’s style. It has been proved many times.”
He added: “The job of a consultant consists of trying to understand as best as we can, the running of a vineyard in a particular place, regarding the grape variety, the soil and the climate in order to have the best grapes as possible to help us to produce the best wine.”
In the interview with James Lawrence (see related stories) he also looks at the role of organic and natural wines, global winemaking trends and emerging markets such as India and China.