Every January, la Revue de Vin de France (RVF), one of France’s most prestigious wine magazines, organises an awards evening to honour key wine personalities who have made a immense difference to the wine world. The RVF “L’Homme de l’Année 2012″ event took place in the swish Bristol Hotel in Paris on 12 January, and Vinogusto was honoured to attend! There were 11 prizes awarded of which you can find a summary here below.
Coup de coeur du jury:
This prize is generally awarded to a project close to the jury’s heart. This year the prize went to Brice Maydieu, a Bordeaux carpenter who recycles used Grand Cru barrels and turn them into trendy furniture. As every barrel is unique, the resulting table, chair or bottle holder will be unique as well. The latest project of Maydouelle, will be to produce a unique furniture line for the Bordeaux Chateaux from their own barrels.
Prix DAIM de l’innovation:
DAIM cork, a quality producer of conglomerate corks, sponsored the innovation price which went to Enomatic. The Enomatic system is a unique way to promote wine tastings and/or wine by the glass. The standard system holds 8 bottles at their perfect serving conditions and uses argon to prevent oxidation. The consumer can purchase a “wine card” which he can use to buy a taste or a glass (3,6 or 12 cl measure) of the wine of his preference. This encourages the consumer to experience and try out different wines. The system was developed in 2002 in Chianti, Italy, and has been popular for a while with restaurants and bars all over the world.
Hypermarché de l’année:
Auchan Roncq (near Lille), won the Hypermarket of the year price. The wine department here has been run for the last 12 years by the enigmatic Xavier Leclerc. He has build up a fine and extensive selection (1700 labels) of quality wines at a reasonable price and hence has widened his audience far beyond the town of Roncq, and even the Nord region of France as just under 40% of his clients are Belgian.
Caviste de l’année:
Lavinia is awarded the price for the best wine store. Lavinia opened it’s first store in Mardrid in 1999,then a second store in Barcelona in 2001 before coming to France and opening a store in Paris in 2002. From then on this exclusive mega wine store has gone from strength to strength. Today it references more than 6000 wines and spirits, of which 3000 are French and the rest from 30 countries world wide. Lavinia also has a restaurant, bar, book store, a wine school and an online store delivering all over France.
Cave coopérative de l’année:
Foncalieu, is a co-operative made up of 1200 grape growers and 7000 hectares of vines in the Languedoc. The visionary leader of Foncalieu, Michel Bataille, created last year a super level of wines called the Club Prestige, which launched 4 exceptional wines in 2010.
Meilleure carte des vin:
The prize for the most exceptional wine list went to “El Celler de Can Roca” in Gerona, Spain. Awarding the prize to a non French restaurant was an extremely brave move by the jury, as many could interpret this that there are no good wine lists in France. However, after carefully dissecting the list the jury had to admit that it is unique in the sense that it contains some of the best Spanish, French and German wines at an exceptionally consumer friendly price. There is a huge choice of wines under €40 – which is pretty unusual for a 3 Michelin star restaurant. Celler Can Roca offers a new and brilliant take on the Spanish cuisine in a beautiful setting. The restaurant is located a mere 10 km from the French border.
Meilleur accueil dans le vignoble:
The price for the best cellar door went this year to Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. Owners Florence and Daniel Cathiard have perfectly understood that wine is so much more than just a beverage, it is in fact an experience. At Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte the focus lies on privite visits, tasting classes and an “art and vine” tour where guests can visit contemporary art among the vines.
Découverte de l’année:
The discovery of the year for the RVF jury is Chateau de la Selve in the Ardeche. Chateau de la Selve was taken over by Benoit and Florence Chazallon in 2002 – they decided to farm their 40 hectares of vines in a bio-dynamic way to produce 2 different styles of wine in the three colours. The first style, the Classiques is fruit forward and very approachable, whilst the Confidentielles are more austere and complex wines made from the very best blocks in the vineyard.
Négociant de l’année:
The price for the broker of the year went to the Burgundian group Jean-Claude Boisset. Over the last 10 years they have transformed themselves with the help of winemaker Grégory Patriat into a high quality and very renowned brand. Today Jean-Claude Boiset has 30 excellent labels which each reflect the greatness of their terroir.
Vigneron de l’année:
Domaine Albert Mann in Alsace took the Winemaker of the year award. Domaine Albert Mann is a small family business run by two brothers and their wives. The 21 hectares of vines are worked and vinified in such a way that the resulting wines truly reflect the different terroirs.
Homme de l’année:
Professor Doctor David Khayat, a famous cancer specialist, takes the ultimate price of wine personality of the year for his relentless defence of benefits of wine consumed in moderation. Professor Khayat believes that wine stimulates the human development and helps to preserve good health. He states that the antioxidant resveratrol, contained by the grape skin seems to protect the human organisms and counteracts the deterioration of the blood vessels due to a cholesterol excess. He talks about this theory in his best selling book “The Real Anti Cancer Diet” and at conferences all over the world.