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St Emilion ‘great’ Christine Valette-Pariente dies

Christine Valette-Pariente, owner of Premier Grand Cru Classé B Chateau Troplong Mondot in St Emilion, has died following a two year battle with cancer.

Valette-Pariente died on Friday evening, aged 57. Her death was met with sadness by many of the area’s top wine names.

‘Troplong existed before Christine,’ Michel Rolland, longtime consultant at the estate, told Decanter.com. ‘But it became synonymous with her. She was responsible for all the successes that it has achieved in recent years’.

The Valette family has owned 33-hectare Troplong Mondot for almost a century, and Christine had run it alongside her husband Xavier Pariente since 1981.

Under her direction, the estate began picking later, reducing yields, increasing new oak. In recognition of its rising critical acclaim, it was promoted in 2006 to the prestigious rank of Premier Grand Cru Classé in the St Emilion rankings.

Valette-Pariente was also responsible for the opening of Les Belles Perdrix restaurant at the chateau, a first in St Emilion.

Chateau Angelus owner Hubert de Bouard said he considered her a sister. They were both born in July 1956. ‘She was one of the great figures of St Emilion, and she was my friend. I’ll miss her,’ he said during a speech at the inauguration of the new Angelus cellars at the weekend.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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