Rolland, Michel

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Rolland, Michel (1947–), the most famous consultant oenologist, responsible in several ways for the current fashion for overtly ripe, deep-coloured, supple red bordeaux. He and his wife Dany have since 1973 run a laboratory in pomerol on which many local growers depend for analysis. In 2013, after separating, they sold Michel’s family properties Chx Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol, Bertineau St-Vincent in Lalande de Pomerol, and Rolland-Maillet in St-Émillion to an Asian investor but continue to be responsible for their winemaking. They also farm Ch La Grande Clotte in Lussac-St-Émillion and Dany lives at Ch Fontenil in Fronsac, acquired in 1986. The Bordeaux right bank enterprises to which he is consultant are too numerous to list (although they have included L’Angélus, Beau-Séjour Bécot, Clinet, Clos l’Église, La Dominique, La Gaffelière, Grand Mayne, Larmande, Pavie, Pavie-Decesse, and Troplong-Mondot). In the Médoc and Graves they have included many properties managed by négociants Dourthe and Chx Fieuzal, Kirwan, Léoville-Poyferré, Malescot St-Exupéry, Pape-Clément, Smith Haut Lafitte, and La Tour Martillac. He has also made wine for Skalli of the Languedoc, the arch-promulgator of varietal vin de pays. But it is his consultancies outside France that set him apart from all but a handful of his countrymen in the breadth of his experience: Simi, Newton, Merryvale, Cuvaison, St-Supéry, and Harlan in California; Marqués de Cáceres, Bodegas Palacio, Marqués de Griñon in Spain; ornellaia in Italy (after tchelistcheff); Etchart and Trapiche in Argentina; Casa Lapostolle in Chile; Pajzos in Hungary; Grover in India; and many more, bringing the total number of clients for him and his team of ten to more than 200 in 17 different countries. The Rollands and their two daughters also have holdings in Bonne Nouvelle in South Africa (with Remhoogte Estate), Campo Eliseo in Toro (with Francois lurton), and Clos de los Siete, Val de Flores, and Mariflor in Argentina. He studied oenology at the University of bordeaux during the peynaud era and has continued to declare his philosophy that wine should give maximum pleasure, although he has been criticized for a certain uniformity of style.