Stephen Brook finds out how the new generation of energetic young winemakers in Bordeaux is rising to the daily challenges of managing the top estates...
It’s not easy to pass on a great wine estate in Bordeaux to the next generation. Inheritance taxes can force the sale of a property, as too can the squabbles between siblings. The eagerness of family shareholders to cash in while the going is good can spell the beginning of the end for many historic estates, as happened at Yquem. In 1996, after a bitter family feud, the château passed from family ownership to the French luxury goods giant LVMH; Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton bought a controlling stake from the family of the Comte Alexandre de Lur Saluces for about $100 million. The Comte, after first challenging the sale in court for more than two years, was kept on as manager of the estate.
Fortunately, in many other cases the process seems to work smoothly. For Juliette Bécot it must have seemed inevitable that she would eventually run the St-Emilion first growth Beau-Séjour-Bécot.
Below, meet the who’s who of bright, young winemakers forging ahead in Bordeaux and read their profiles on the following pages…
Favourite vintage of Beau-Séjour-Bécot: 1998
Favourite vintage of Clos Fourtet: ‘1945 was magical, but I also love 1964 and 1998’
Favourite vintage of Lafon-Rochet: 1990
Favourite vintage of Ausone: ‘We had little stock, so I haven’t tasted that much, but 1949 was terrific’
Héloise Aubert, Born 1980, Vanessa Aubert Born 1979, Yohann Aubert Born 1985, Favourite vintage of La Couspaude: 2001
Written by Stephen Brook