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Owner of Lynch-Bages Buys Rhône Domaine

Jean-Michel Cazes acquires Sénéchaux in Châteauneuf-du-Pape

James Molesworth
Posted: December 28, 2006

Jean-Michel Cazes, owner of Pauillac's Château Lynch-Bages, has purchased Domaine des Sénéchaux, a Châteauneuf-du-Pape property with more than 60 acres. Cazes bought the domaine from Pascal Roux, who had owned it since 1993. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Sénéchaux is the second prominent estate in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to be sold in recent months, coming on the heels of the sale of Domaine des Relagnes. The appellation is enjoying an unprecedented string of successful vintages, and land values have risen to all-time highs, with a hectare of vines in prime spots reaching $450,000 (1 hectare is equivalent to 2.47 acres).

During his ownership, Roux had rejuvenated Sénéchaux's vineyards, which are in the Sénéchaux, Grand Pierre and Grand Devès parcels, located on the same plateau as the famous La Crau parcel. (The sites feature the appellation's well-known rolled-stone terroir.) Roux also renovated the winery, and recent vintages have been outstanding. Production at the estate currently totals about 8,000 cases annually.

The sale of Sénéchaux had been held up while SAFER, the French government organization that oversees all vineyard sales, also considered an offer for the estate proposed by a group of Châteauneuf vignerons, led by Le Vieux Donjon's Louis Michel, who wanted to divide the property among themselves.

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