I can clearly remember being in Hong Kong last May, at the official VinExpo dinner at the Grand Hyatt, and hearing the news that the talented and dynamic Vincent Mulliez had died at age 44. There was general disbelief in the room, as he was not only young, but an absolute force to be reckoned with, and widely respected for the work that he was doing with his estates.
Owner of Chateau Belle-Vue in the Medoc, aswell as Chateau Bolaire and Chateau de Gironville, he had worked successfully as a banker in London before coming back to Bordeaux to invest in vineyards. Here is a link to the news story that I wrote at the time:
All of this meant I was very happy to receive a press release today from his wife, Isabelle Mulliez, and five sons, giving an update on where they are one year later, as the next en primeurs approach. The press release was in French, but I will translate it here (I'm sure not exactly, but I hope close enough).
'Since the brutal and terrible loss of Vincent on May 22, 2010, our five sons and I have gradually got to grips with the legacy that he left us.
We are continuing to promote his three estates (Belle-Vue, Gironville and Bolaire) that he bought in 2004, and that ever since we returned to Bordeaux from London, have been a source of great joy.
As director of the SC de Gironville, I have met numerous partners that Vincent worked with, and who were moved by his entepreneurial spirit, and by his ceaseless serarch for quality in his wines, as well as his low-key, unaffected demeanour.
I regularly visit Belle-Vue to reaffirm my absolute confidence in the excellent technical team, and the wonderful technical director that we have there.
Frédéric Boisseau regjoined the team after Vincent's death and he assures, with the help of Isabelle Pascual, the administrative and financial continuity of the estates. He also upholds the relationships that Vincent had established with negociants, courtiers, banks and clients who were already loyal thanks to the recognised quality of the wines, and who have remained so.
From Paris, I have a financial and legal consultant who help me to get up to speed with my new responsibilities, which my previous medical and clinical psychology training had not equipped me for.
Of our five children, only Baptiste and Marin are over 18. Baptiste has already demonstrated his immense skills during the Grand Tasting de Paris last December, and will also be present at the Salon de la Revue des Vins de France in Spring. Marin also intends to join his brother as soon as he can
Motivated by our desire to continue to live as Vincent would have wished, we have together decided to go forward confidently along the road laid out for us by our beloved husband and father.'
The wines are being tasted at the Biturica tasting during the en primeurs