Château Montrose on the Block

Château Montrose is being sold to the Bouygues brothers.



Château Montrose, one of the top two properties of Bordeaux's Saint-Estèphe region, is being sold. Owner Jean-Louis Charmolüe, whose family has owned this 160 acre property for over a century, put the property on the market in January. Within days, he was approached by French billionaire Martin Bouygues, who with his brother Olivier, runs one of France's biggest telecom companies.

Such is the reputation of Montrose, classified as a second growth, that a tag of 120 million euros ($147 million) is being mentioned as the sale price.

The beautiful 19th century chateau with its view of the Gironde estuary produces wines that are sometimes called the Latour of Saint-Estèphe, because of their richness and their ability to achieve greatness in lesser vintages. In 2003, Montrose was considered by many tasters to be the wine of the vintage.

The Bouygues brothers, who are estimated by Forbes to be worth $1.3 billion, are buying the property privately and not as part of their multi-national empire. Already, Martin Bouygues has been welcomed into the club of Bordeaux classed growth proprietors. According to French business website, Challenges, Eric de Rothschild has already offered his congratulations. At a Paris dinner, Rothschild told Bouygues "to be a real wine producer, you need to be in your vineyard as often as possible."

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