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Lalique chairman buys Sauternes estate Lafaurie-Peyraguey

The chairman of Swiss perfume and decor group Lalique has added Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey to his collection of Bordeaux estates.

Silvio Denz, who has a personal fortune estimated at close to US$300m, has acquired Lafaurie-Peyraguey (pictured) for an undisclosed fee from energy firm GDF Suez, which had owned the property since 1984.

Denz already owns Chateau Peby Faugeres and Chateau Faugeres in Saint-Emilion, as well as Clos d’Agon in Spain and Montepeloso in Italy.

Lafaurie-Peyraguey was named a Sauternes Premier Cru Classe in the 1855 Bordeaux classification and counts Yquem as a neighbour. Its 36 hectares of vines are tended without chemical herbicides and comprise 93% Semillon, 6% Sauvignon and 1% Muscadelle.

In announcing the Lafaurie-Peyraguey deal, Denz added his voice to those who argue Sauternes’ signature sweet wines wines do not receive enough attention. ‘Sauternes deserves a higher profile and a wider appeal,’ he said.

Last year, fine wine index Liv-ex said that Sauternes wines were ‘perennially undervalued’, due to muted consumer demand.

However, Denz also said that he intends to develop Lafaurie-Peyraguey’s dry white wine production. He specifically cited work by Olivier Bernard at Clos des Lunes as an example to follow.

Alongside winemaking, Denz intends to begin making up for a ‘shortage’ of top quality hotels in the Sauternes region. Lafaurie-Peyraguey has 13 bedrooms that can be used for guests.

Written by Chris Mercer

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