Caronne Sainte Gemme sold to Bernard Magrez

I don’t know if anyone else has posted about this - if so ignore mine. I just read on Jane Anson’s (excellent) site that Caronne Ste G has been sold.

I’m a great fan of this estate’s wines and have been for many years, so for me, it’s very bad news - but unfortunately, it gets worse: it was bought by Bernard Magrez, he of the black labels, porty wines and toasty oak. Apparently it might just be incorporated into La Tour Carnet and disappear. Great.

It’s clearly a tough time for owners of Crus Bourgeois.

Oh dear, I have just opened my last bottle of the 2009. I was going to enjoy it with a casserole this evening, I hadn’t realised I was about to be drinking a museum piece. Better stock up on the 2016 and 2019, before they are gone for good.

I am as annoyed about this as you are Julian, I have been drinking this wine since I started with the 1982 in the late eighties.

I cut my Bordeaux teeth on the 2009/10 from them and always found it a solid wine. Time to go find some!

uh-oh, this is awful news.

Yes, I shall hoover up anything I can find starting tomorrow!

Another CB which apparently will no longer exist is Château Sérilhan, in Saint Estèphe. I was never a massive fan, but it is sad to see these CBs go. I suppose it is inevitable that over time there will be less and less - the financial pressure is such that they will just get absorbed into CCs which sell for three times more.

Sérilhan Is not a favourite of mine, the 2009 was over ripe and pruny, the 2010 is still hard. It is right at the back edge of St Estephe, who has it been bought by?

This topic triggered me to look up what William Kelley had to say about Pape Clement 2019. The first thing I found was that the WA site lists notes for “Pape Clement” (97 wines) and “Pape Clément” (2 wines). If you select the first there is no 2019 listed! It seems that William’s grammatical correctness has foiled the WA search engine [wink.gif]

After working through that quirk, I found the note for the 2019 under the accented listing. William likes the wine but clearly wants a better, less accented Pape Clément. In the producer profile he notes some changes from the past excesses but…

… recent years have seen a discreet turn toward a somewhat more restrained style… Merlot is picked a touch earlier than in the past… percentage of new oak is more modest… style remains, however, rather oaky and extracted—the aesthetic, in other words, of the early 2000s.

I like CstG, and bought it in 96, 00, 05 although I don’t think I have any bottles left at this point. It’s indeed tough times for this ilk of estate; the prices today are hardly any different than when I was first getting into this a few decades ago.

Still enthusiasts have plenty of other estates to choose from, especially if they are not limited to what is stateside.

It is for sale but hasn’t been bought yet. There will not be a 2021, because the owner has retired. Until a sale is completed, it will apparently be farmed by someone else - I don’t know who.

True, there are hundreds of other estates but if the best ones like Caronne continue to disappear, we will all be the losers.

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Aw shit.

Dan Kravitz

Yet at the same time, someone else will take an unknown property and improve it, or a distributor/importer will find some unknown gem and start bringing it to deserving customers. Or a well known vintner might start making wine in new regions, in styles his fans already like…

I do not fear that there will be any shortage of great wine to drink.

There is always something to drink Arv, but this is saying goodbye for the last time to an old friend.