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Kermit Lynch Joins Legion d'Honneur

Congratulations to Kermit Lynch for being awarded the top honor bestowed on civilians in France: Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. Lynch will receive this honor in a private ceremony next year, joining Robert M. Parker, Julia Child, and Robert Mondavi as recipients of this rare award.

Regular readers know I am a fan of Lynch as well as the wines he has been importing for the last few decades in Berkeley. Lynch pioneered the consistent use of refrigerated shipping containers for imported wine (which are sadly still not the industry standard) and has long championed small producers of France who make unfined, unfiltered wines in traditional ways. Lynch is also a passionate and eloquent writer about wine whose store newsletters and books are some of my favorite wine writing in the world.

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Comments (4)

Bruce Macumber wrote:
12.25.05 at 10:34 AM

He has earned this award & so deserves it. Felicitations!

Eric LECOURS wrote:
12.26.05 at 2:17 PM

It is nice to hear Kermit is being awarded such a prestigous and well-deserving honor.

He has been a pioneer in ensuring American consumers receive wine in as good or better condition than their European counterparts for decades. Sadly, not everyone who imports fine wine employs refrigerated containers, or reefers. And even among those who do, most consolidate and load those containers at port. They cannot guarantee the condition of their wines from producer to port. Kermit loads his reefers at the producers' cellars. He guarantees the condidition of the wine from the producer to consumer. I don't know of any other retailer who can do that. Further, he tastes and selects the lots that go into his bottlings. While European sommeliers complain about and return young wines that throw sediment, thus requiring de facto filtration, he allows none.

So a Kermit Lynch bottling is likely a better wine than the same producer's other bottling purchased elsewhere, USA or Europe. It will likely be from superior lots bottled without filtration stored at cellar tempurature producer to consumer. He has set the standard his competitors seek to duplicate. The result is a superior standard of wine for all. Honorable indeed.

Geoff Smith wrote:
12.26.05 at 4:35 PM

As someone who has been a Kermit Lynch customer for over twenty years, I think that it's wonderful that Kermit is going to be a Chevalier.

"Les Chevaliers de la table ronde,
Goutons voir si le vin est bon!"

Bravo Kermit!


Geoff Smith

Kevin M wrote:
12.27.05 at 2:09 PM

Congratulations to Kermit Lynch. I have been a huge fan of the wines he imports for years. His label as the importer is a mark of excellance. Keep up the good work Kermit!


Kevin Mitchell

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