There was uncertainty around the future ownership of Clos Rougeard this week after a French wine magazine reported that the historic Loire estate was on the verge of being sold to Martin Bouygues, one of the richest men in France and co-owner of Château Montrose. Reporting by Chris Mercer and Yohan Castaing.
Bouygues, who is also co-owner of Château Montrose in Bordeaux’s St-Estèphe area, has been closing in on a deal to buy Clos Rougeard, according to an exclusive report in La Revue du Vin de France.
However, Decanter.com was not immediately able to make direct contact with Clos Rougeard or Bouygues to confirm the news.
And one person close to Clos Rougeard played down any suggestion that a sale had been agreed, when contacted on 4 January.
Any deal would be a landmark event in the Loire.
Clos Rougeard, based in Saumur-Champigny, is predominantly known for its 100% Cabernet Franc wines and is regarded as one of the most exclusive Loire estates. It has been making wine since the mid-1600s.
The Foucault family has run the estate for eight generations.
But Clos Rougeard’s co-owner, Charly Foucault, died in late 2015. Charly’s brother, Bernard ‘Nady’ Foucault, has continued in charge. Charly’s son, Antoine Foucault, makes wine separately at Domaine du Collier.
The Bouygues brothers, who made their name in telecoms, had a fortune of 2.3 billion euros in 2016, according to France’s Challenges magazine.