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Spanish Winemaker ‘The Nose’ Dies At 82

Jose Ignacio Domecq Gonzalez, the aristocratic head of a Spanish winemaking family who was renowned as “El Nariz” (“The Nose”) for his ability to sniff out nuances in the creation of his clan’s highly regarded sherries, died Wednesday at his home in Jerez de la Frontera in southern Spain. He was 82.

Domecq died of cancer, according to one of his sons, Jose Ignacio Jr.

The Domecq clan owned Pedro Domecq, one of Spain’s oldest and largest sherry and brandy shippers, from 1816 until 1994, when it was merged with Allied Lyons PLC, an alcoholic beverages giant based in London.

The tall, lean Domecq quickly became known throughout the international wine trade as “El Nariz” for literal as well as figurative reasons.

His hawklike nose, endlessly caricatured in profile, was memorably large. It also was his fortune, an indispensable gift in the blending necessary for creating fine sherries.

Domecq’s ability has been described as the counterpart of a musician’s perfect pitch.

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