NEW YORK - For the next in our series of Sotheby’s Wine interviews, I spoke with Pierre Lurton, the Managing Director of Chateau Cheval Blanc and CEO of Chateau d'Yquem. He joined Cheval Blanc, from his family property, Clos Fourtet, in 1991 – a year in which no Cheval Blanc was bottled. He has more than made-up for this with a series of outstanding wines: 1995, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2009, 2010 and the 2011 is also top class. As though running one of the greatest Bordeaux properties was not enough, he has had responsibility for making Yquem since 2004. In his spare time, he also manages Cheval des Andes, his own property Chateau Marjosse and takes care of his six children.
Where were you born?
In Bordeaux, in the middle of an Estate.
What was your best memory growing up?
Sunday tastings with family.
Where/what did you study?
Medicine and the "French paradox."
Any formal wine training?
The best: training by the Lurton family.
Who was your mentor(s)?
Emile Peynaud and André Lurton.
Outside Wine, what is your passion?
Early to rise, late to bed; burn the candle at both ends?
Yes, but happy to live so. What is the use of an unburned candle? It has to burn to give a light.
Diet or eat everything?
Diet is not compatible with my job... I eat everything but as a gourmet, in small quantities.
What are you reading now?
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
Favorite place to vacation?
Favorite local hotel?
Le Lancaster (Paris).
Favorite hotel in the world?
Le Fazano (Sao Paolo).
Favorite local restaurant?
Eat some fresh oysters in Arcachon, feet in the water.
Favorite restaurant in the world?
The Fat Duck, Bray (UK).
Favorite city to visit?
Favorite wine/vintage from your winery?
Château Cheval Blanc 1998 and 1964.
Favorite wine/vintage, that is not yours?
La Tâche, Domaine de La Romanée Conti: same miracle, every time.
If you can choose your perfect last supper before leaving this world, what would it be, who would it be with and what would you drink with it?
Krug 1985, "Y" 2010 with fish sashimi, Château Cheval Blanc 1964 with « ris de veau » and Château d'Yquem 1937 with « riz au lait ». No need to choose the attendants, they will naturally be next to me when I leave!