Tim Stanley-Clarke: tributes pour in for port legend

22 June, 2017

Tim Stanley-Clarke enjoying jolly japes with Allan Cheesman

Tributes are pouring in for pre-eminent port consultant Tim Stanley-Clarke after he sadly passed away.

Industry insiders have reacted with shock and sadness on social media to the news that the trade has lost one of its most popular figures.

Anne Burchett, who took the picture of Stanley-Clark and Allan Cheesman used here, said: “I'm very upset about TSC's death. We were close. Back in November, Cheesy, him and I had a big lunch to celebrate my departure from Sopexa. That lunch with Allan was priceless - the banter! 

“He was the silliest man ever, in a good way. He loved to pull faces and send the result, by fax in the old days! He always called me the Nappy Eater, because when I arrived over here I couldn't pronounce my Hs and I once told him I had a disgusting lunch in a Nappy Heater, when of course I meant Happy Eater. He was one of my wine godfathers and a brilliant cheerleader. I always felt on top of the world after seeing him. So, so sad.”

Wine writer Matthew Jukes said: “Sad to hear Tim Stanley-Clarke has passed away. Great chap, fabulously upbeat and devilishly naughty too. Raising a glass of Port to TSC.”

Fellow wine writer Simon Wood said: “Really sad to hear of the death of port legend Tim Stanley-Clarke.”

Stanley-Clarke worked as sales director at Christopher & Co, selling vintage port to clubs and institutions for six years before he joined Symington Family Estates in 1984.

He was UK port ambassador for Dow’s and then took on responsibility for Graham’s and Warre’s when they joined Dow’s at Fells, the Symingtons’ UK arm.

These port houses were complemented in 1989 by the addition of Blandy’s Madeira to the Fells portfolio, which came under his remit.

Stanley-Clarke spent 33 years as a consultant for the group, and for other parts of the John E Fells portfolio.

For decades he has been widely regarded as one of the leading port experts in the UK and spent a great deal of time conducting tutored tastings at home and abroad.

He also looked after public relations Bouchard Père, Fils in Beaune and William Fèvre in Chablis, while he was responsible for launching Sir Cliff Richard’s Portuguese table wine Vida Nova, from the Algarve.
He served as chairman of port judging at the IWSC and was a senior judge at the IWC, among other competitions.

Wine writer Jim Budd said on his blog: “Very shocked and saddened to hear that Tim Stanley-Clarke, one of the great characters of the UK wine trade and great port lover and expert, has died. Tim had a great sense of humour and enjoyed jolly japes. On a personal level he was very supportive of my exposure of wine investment frauds.”

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