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Anson: What’s new in Bordeaux wine?

Jane Anson - Source: decanter.com

From ownership changes to new wines, Jane Anson highlights key developments at Bordeaux estates over the past year.

St-Emilion's Troplong Mondot has been among those building new cellars. Credit: Per Karlsson - BKWine.com / Alamy

New Bordeaux winery owners

There have been several ownership changes over the past 12 months, which is likely to bring increased investment or renewed focus to certain estates. They will also be responsible for at least the ageing of the Bordeaux 2019 vintage. These include Tristan le Lous at Château Cantenac Brown, the Margaux third growth that has been owned for the past 13 years by low-profile British businessman Simon Halabi.

Quality has been improving here for some time under director José Sanfins, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Le Lous brings to the table. Staying in the Margaux appellation, we have new owners at Cambon la Pelouse in the shape of Australia’s Treasury Wine Estates, the first major investment in Bordeaux by this group. At Château Dauzac, the French insurance group MAIF has sold up to Breton businessman Christian Rolleau, while Château Tour de Mons has been sold by CA Grands Crus to the Perrodo family of Marquis d’Alesme.

That last one is really a deal to watch, because it will either see a huge boost in quality, or the disappearance of the label if they choose to combine it with neighbour Labegorce. I really have no idea, at this stage, which way they are planning to go. Over in Pomerol, Château Petit Village has just changed hands, moving from AXA Millésimes to the Moulin family of neighbouring Château Beauregard. The Cathiard family, owner of Smith Haut Lafitte, has also bought a minority stake and will offer consultancy at the property. This next one is not technically a new owner, but is still a significant change. Jacques Lurton has stepped into the role of managing director at Vignobles André Lurton, following the death of his father.

This is a group that holds 300 hectares of Pessac-Léognan vineyards. It has been under-performing for a number of years, without clear management; the exception being its flagship estate Couhins-Lurton, which for me has kept quality extremely high. Jacques Lurton is a brilliant winemaker and consultant himself, focused on organic and biodynamic farming in much of his work, and I expect him to oversee the start of a bounce-back for these properties, helped by new technical director Anne Neuville. I’m excited to see what they do.

Read the full article at: https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/opinion/news-blogs-anson/new-bordeaux-wine-changes-436455/