Renowned Bordeaux vintner Christian Moueix has added to his collection of Right Bank properties, buying St.-Emilion’s Clos La Madeleine and Château Magnan La Gaffelière from Société Générale, a French multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in Paris.
Société Générale had been managing the two estates for several dozen individual shareholders, each of whom had to sign off on the sale. The deal was finalized today; the sale prices were not disclosed.
Clos La Madeleine is the jewel of the deal, a tiny 6-acre property located within Moueix's Château Bélair-Monange. The Grand Cru Classé estate is in a prime location, with one-third of the vines planted on St.-Emilion's famed limestone plateau, one-third on the clay hillside facing southwest and the remaining third on the clay and loam foothill below. The property has made consistently very good to occasionally outstanding wines in recent years, though Moueix feels its potential has yet to be realized.
"It has good to very good soil, but we will have to get to know the estate better," Moueix told Wine Spectator. He intends to keep the property separate from Bélair-Monange. "It has a great potential and a character of its own."
Currently the wine is aged in 100 percent new oak, a practice that will surely change under Moueix's hand, as he prefers a more modest 40 to 50 percent new oak regimen for his St.-Emilions. Clos La Madeleine is planted predominantly to Merlot, with some Cabernet Franc, and produces an average of 1,000 cases annually.
Magnan La Gaffelière is a 30-acre estate situated between Château Grand Mayne, Château Laroze and Château Yon-Figeac, on the western side of St.-Emilion and lower down the hill, where the land is predominantly gravel and sandy loam. Moueix said the estate will be run separately for five years before he decides what to do with it long-term. It currently produces 3,000 cases annually.