Ab Simon, the most influential and successful importer of Bordeaux wines to the United States for more than a quarter of a century, died on New Year's Day. He was 88. From the 1970s through the end of the century, Simon dominated the U.S. market for Bordeaux, first at importer Austin Nichols, then as chairman of Seagram Château & Estate Wines Co., which he ran from 1974 until his retirement in 1999. In 1988, Simon imported more than one in every five bottles of Bordeaux's five first-growths, according to The New York Times. Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews reports.