Steven Spurrier, 1941-2021

We were sad to hear that Steven Spurrier died from cancer on Monday night. He was 79.

This isn’t an obituary – please go to Jancis Robinson’s website for a wonderful evocation of his life. But we had a long relationship with Steven, and admired him for even longer. He was great friends with Michael Hill Smith MW of Shaw + Smith, as they worked together as  wine consultants to Singapore Airlines for almost two decades. Through that connection, Steven consulted for Liberty Wines in our early days to help us with contacts in France. I got to know him well during that time, and admired his enthusiasm, his love of the new and his complete lack of cynicism. If anything, he became more open to new ideas as he got older.  

His enthusiasm for Bride Valley continued to increase over the years. I remember our early discussions, before he had planted the site. “You will of course distribute it,” he told me. It was an instruction rather than a negotiation.  It was the same with the M/S wines from India. He loved the concept of working with people he liked to produce wines of which he was proud. 

I’ll miss his shrewd assessments of wine. His palate was very sharp; at our tastings, he would invariably pick out the wines we knew were showing the best. At small lunches with producers, he was always on time, impeccably attired, unfailingly polite and always willing to give an opinion on the wines. 

Steven's candour and enthusiasm will be sorely missed. But we will remember him every time we open a bottle of Bride Valley.