Perse will not buy Petit-Village

Perse will not buy Petit-Village News Wine News
  • Thursday 3 July 2003

Gerard Perse has indicated he will not buy Chateau Petit-Village because of the moribund state of the En Primeur market.

The controversial entrepreneur – owner of St Emilion châteaux Pavie, Monbousquet, Pavie-Decesse and Bellevue-Mondotte, and Clos l'Eglise and another property in Côtes de Castillon – was set to buy the Pomerol property for €45m (£29m) in March last year.

Perse and Petit-Village owner AXA Millesimes agreed to hold the deal until it was clear how the 2002 vintage was selling. Now Perse says it's unlikely he will buy.

'I have until the end of August to decide, but in the present context I doubt if I will make the investment,' he told decanter.com.

Bordeaux 2002 is selling well – as long as you are a traditional name on the left bank of the Garonne. Right bank wines – St Emilion and Pomerol – are sluggish.

'We have sold one case of Pavie,' one prominent London merchant said. 'The reasonably-priced, traditional names are selling, the rest are very difficult.'

In particular, wines that are known to be favourites of American critic Robert Parker – most often the merlot-based right bank wines, hit hard by the bad 2002 summer – are lying on the shelves. Parker has not been to Bordeaux since the beginning of the year and has not tasted the 2002s yet, so many buyers do not have his scores to guide them.

Last year Perse told decanter.com at 53 he was 'too old' to take a big risk on a property like Petit-Village.

He says he will not be penalised for reneging on the purchase, despite many insiders being convinced AXA Millesimes would not have taken the deal to the stage they did without at least 10% being guaranteed.

'There will be no indemnity to pay or 5% fine for not honouring the deal, contrary to the rumours some people appear to have been spreading,' he said.

AXA Millesimes would not comment on the state of the purchase.

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