The Moueix family of Chateau Petrus has bought Chateau Belair, decanter.com has learned.
The sale of the St Emilion premier grand cru classé is almost complete, a spokesperson for the Jean-Pierre Moueix company told decanter.com today.
The 12.5ha Chateau Belair, classified as one of the 11 premiers grands crus classés B chateaux, was already partly owned by the Moueix family, which bought a 31% stake in 2006.
The Belair property, which neighbours grand cru classé A Chateau Ausone, was bought by Pascal Delbeck in 2002. Delbeck is reported however to have been struggling to pay inheritance tax and other taxes.
‘I am not ashamed to say I cried,’ Delbeck told Bordeaux newspaper Sudouest about the impending sale of his chateau.
‘I wanted to conserve the magnificent heritage I received from Madame Dubois-Challon, but sadly I can’t. I feel I have been vanquished,’ he said.
The devastated owner said he had already been forced to sell one hectare to cover costs, and now preferred to sell the lot rather than let it ‘fall apart’.
Delbeck is said to have had many other offers for Chateau Belair, notably from Russia and China, but decided to sell to the Moueix family because he felt that Christian Moueix would preserve a pure, ‘non-standardised’ wine style, as he had done for many years at Pétrus.
Neither Pascal Delbeck nor Christian Moueix were available for direct comment and the spokesperson for JP Moueix said the price paid was confidential.
The sale is expected to be completed by August this year.
Written by Sophie Kevany in Bordeaux