Domaine Clarence Dillon, the owner of first-growth Château Haut-Brion, has bought Château Tertre Daugay, a 36.5-acre estate in St.-Emilion, from Count Leo de Malet Roquefort, who also owns nearby Château La Gaffelière, for an undisclosed sum.
"We believe it is a sleeping beauty of a property,” Prince Robert of Luxembourg, president of Domaine Clarence Dillon, told Wine Spectator. “Our family company looks forward to returning this great estate to its former glory."
The prince was referring to the estate’s illustrious past, when it was considered a "first-growth" from 1868 to 1949 in the famous Bordeaux wine directory published for the trade by Cocks & Feret. More recently, from 1955 to 2006, Tertre Daugay was ranked a grand cru classé. It was demoted to grand cru in the re-classification of 2006, but regained its grand cru classé status following the convoluted legal battle over the 2006 classification. St.-Emilion is currently bracing itself for a new classification in 2012.
Tertre Daugay sits on the south-facing clay and limestone slopes of St.-Emilion, not far from Berliquet and Fonplegade. It’s planted with 60 percent Merlot and 40 percent Cabernet Franc, and produces 60,000 bottles of the first wine and 13,300 bottles of the second label, Château Haut Daugay. The technical team at Haut-Brion, headed by Jean-Philippe Delmas, will oversee winemaking at Tertre Daugay.
Prince Robert is a descendant of Clarence Dillon, an American banker who bought Haut-Brion in 1935. The firm now owns Haut-Brion and La Mission-Haut-Brion and produces a négociant brand called Clarendelle. Prince Robert confirmed that the company is looking for further expansion opportunities.