Mathieu Cuvelier, owner of Chateau Clos Fourtet, is to finalise in the next few weeks the purchase of three further Saint Emilion properties.
Sophie Fourcade did not want to sell to a ‘faceless insurance company’
The properties are Chateau Clos St Martin (1.3 hectares), Les Grands Murailles (1.ha) and Cote de Baleau (14ha).
All three are owned by Sophie Fourcade, who was a practicing lawyer before joining the family wine business in 1998.
All three are Saint Emilion classified estates; the vines of Les Grands Murailles are next door to those of Clos Fourtet.
Fourcade is to continue as director of the properties after the purchase, as is the rest of the technical team, including Michel Rolland as consultant, Decanter.com understands. Stéphane Derenoncourt is consultant at Clos Fourtet.
‘We have been in discussions with Sophie since last December,’ Cuvelier told Decanter.com.
He said the vines of Les Grands Murailles would not be used to boost production of next-door Clos Fourtet – for now.
‘We are keeping all three brands, because all have strong identities, and for now will be trying to understand the terroir and see where we need to invest. Of course there is the possibility for changes in the future, but everything needs to be studied carefully.’
‘We were very keen for our properties to go to another family,’ said Fourcade, ‘and not to a faceless insurance company. We are extremely happy that it has gone to our neighbours, to a family that we have known for a long time. We know that the properties will be well treated.’
With the Clos Fourtet vines, the Cuvelier family will now have 40ha in St Emilion, and also own Chateau Poujeaux, with 68ha in Moulis en Médoc. The price of the purchase was not revealed, but it is likely to have been several million euros per hectare.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux