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Bordeaux's Anthony Perrin Dies

Château Carbonnieux owner helped revitalize estate and create an icon of white Bordeaux

Jo Cooke
Posted: September 19, 2008

Anthony Perrin, owner of Château Carbonnieux, in Bordeaux's Pessac-Léognan appellation, died during the night of Sept. 13, after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 68.

Perrin came from a family closely associated with the Pessac-Léognan region. His father, Marc Perrin, purchased the rundown Carbonnieux estate in 1956 and, together with Anthony, completely modernized the estate over the ensuing decades, replanting the estate's then 72 acres of ailing vines, which were further decimated by a severe frost during the first winter of the Perrin family's tenure.

Today the estate has about 220 acres of vines in a single block, roughly half planted to red varieties and half white. The estate produces both a red and a white wine, like most wineries in Pessac-Léognan. The white Carbonnieux is widely distributed in the United States and has become an icon for dry white Bordeaux in the market.

Further investments by the Perrin family in the appellation followed over the years and, today the family own six châteaus in Pessac-Léognan: Carbonnieux, Le Sartre, Tour-Léognan, Bois-Martin, Lafont-Menaut and Haut-Vigneu.

Perrin was a well-respected man in Bordeaux. He was president of the Union des Grands Crus, the organization that promotes the 132 Grands Crus Classés estates throughout the Bordeaux region, from 1992 to 1994. Perrin was also instrumental in the creation of the Pessac-Léognan appellation as a subregion of the Graves appellation, in 1987. By the time of his death, he was one of the most experienced winemakers in the area.

"Anthony was a very amiable man," said Olivier Bernard, owner of Domaine de Chevalier, in Pessac-Léognan. "He was always calm, measured and full of good sense. He didn't say much, but when he did speak, what he said was generally right."

Perrin is survived by his wife and three children, Christine, Philibert and Eric. The two brothers will take over the direction of Carbonnieux.

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