Although I did not know Taffy-on-Tour, I have been informed that he passed away peacefully towards the end of last year.
Given concerns raised here on this forum, I thought I ought to convey this news, and indeed was asked to by the person tidying his affairs – who approved this message.
His passing was brought to my attention after this person contacted people with whom he’d exchanged emails, so as to inform them. One of these was Rhone critic John Livingstone-Learmonth, who mentioned it to me, knowing I sometimes visit this forum.
In addition, John sent these words, which I’m sure Taffy would appreciate:
“I never met [Taffy], but he was a busy, regular, lengthy correspondent, often urging me, before he realised I was set in my ways, to write easier access tasting notes, pare back my English, address a mass market.
“He would state that he championed me on the Wine Society forum, and was always pleased when I posted a load of new data. There was always a future for him – via which bottle he should drink soon, but also which bottles he wanted to tuck away for a few years out, and was pleased to recount his en primeur triumphs.
“He had been an oil executive in the past, but the wine, and sport, filled out his emails, the rugby with Wales, lamenting the English Test team, and comments on football, tennis. He was in full flow until telling me that he had been quite ill at the end of October, when I was in the Rhône, and then I just thought he was lying low. The Rhône has lost an unconditional supporter.”
A neighbour and friend of Taffy’s also asked to add a few of their own words:
“Taffy had been an off-shore rig operations and production manager in both the oil and gas industries off of Aberdeen before working on the planning for production of gas fields off of NE England and the Irish Sea. Trained as an industrial chemist, Taffy had an interesting life and had always a good story about his times off-shore.”
Please note, I have been asked not to use his real name here, and would ask that others do not do so either, or guess at it, in keeping with this. He preferred to use Taffy here, and we can’t of course ask for his permission to do otherwise.