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Uncorked: Christian Seely

by admin / 2018-09-17 08:15 Click: With a wine merchant and writer for a father, Christian Seely took to wine at an early age. Having run Quinta do Noval, he became MD of parent company AXA Millésimes. He is also co-owner of Quinta da Romaneira and half the English sparkling wine – Coates and Seely.

  Uncorked: Christian SeelyWhat Vintage are you?

1960 – of course a great Port year, the Nacional 1960 is one of my favourites.

What bottle sparked your love of wine?

There were always a lot of good bottles at home. But the one that really opened my eyes was a bottle of La Tâche ’71 that I shared in a restaurant with someone I was very in love with in 1983. A couple of years ago I visited Romanée Conti and tasted La Tâche again and gave her a call. She remembered the wine too.

Ambition or talent – what matters more?

Obviously both, but if I have to choose it would be ambition, if you define that as a drive to do something exceptional. If you have that you can always harness the talents of others, which is in any case what a good manager should do, whether you are making wine or anything else.

What would you be as a wine?

I would like to be something as long lived and youthful as possible, so a great vintage of Quinta do Noval, like the 2011: that way I would be sure of being young and vigorous at 100 years old.

Where are you happiest?

In the Douro Valley.

What’s your greatest vice?

Being late. I caught the habit in my years of living in Portugal and have never shaken it off.

Best advice you ever got?

Even though the odds may be against you in a casino, you have one advantage over the bank, which is that you are free to stop and get up and go when you want to. Like all good advice should, it came from my father, who spectacularly failed to follow his own recommendation.

Your cellar’s underwater, which bottle would you dive in and save?

Pichon Baron 2010

What’s the best and worst thing about the wine business?

  Uncorked: Christian Seely

Quinta Noval 2011 ‘long-lived and youthful’

Becoming obsessed about what you do, which is endlessly fascinating and satisfying, but can perhaps be a little too much sometimes for those around you.

Desert island vine?

Tinto Cao, because I love it and because in the circumstances I would be sure that everyone on the island would agree with me that it is a great grape variety.

Which wine would you like served at your funeral?

Sorry to be repetitive, but it is actually in my will that Quinta do Noval 2011 Vintage Port will be served. By then I am hoping it will be well into its 5th decade and just beginning to show all that it has to give. But if I have a chance, I would be glad to give it another decade. We will see how we are both getting along at the time.


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