Jonathan Malthus, owner of Château Teyssier in St.-Emilion, recently purchased another property in the appellation, Vieux Château Mazerat, adding almost 15 acres to his growing Bordeaux fief. Mazerat is located on the Côtes de St.-Emilion, the hillside vineyards in the immediate vicinity of the town, neighboring top estates such as Châteaus Angélus and Beausejour-Duffau-Lagarosse. Malthus closed the deal in February, paying $3.6 million for the property.
"The vineyard is beautiful," said Malthus, "and I believe the potential is there to make as good a wine as our neighbors'."
The Nigerian-born Malthus and his wife, Lyn, arrived in Bordeaux in 1994, at a time when the garagiste phenomenon was attracting attention to the Right Bank. Malthus initially bought the 52-acre Teyssier, which is located on the less highly regarded sandy soils in the southern portion of St.-Emilion. Since then, he has been adding parcels from throughout the appellation. Today, he produces around 25,000 cases annually, all of which is sold directly to distributors, bypassing the traditional Place de Bordeaux négociant system.
He first invested in Vieux Château Mazerat's land in 1996, buying 5 acres of the property to use in a single-vineyard cuvée he dubbed Le Dôme. With his purchase of the rest of the property, Malthus' vineyard holdings in the St.-Emilion area now total 123 acres. About 25 acres of those vineyards are located on the Côtes, including his sources for three single-vineyard reds—Le Dôme, Les Asteries and Le Carré—as well as his Château Laforge, which is sourced from a number of vineyard parcels.
According to Malthus, Vieux Château Mazerat will continue to produce a St.-Emilion red, as well as Le Dôme. He said he planned to rebuild the estate's winery and relocate his single-vineyard wine production there.
Malthus' winemaking activity is not restricted to Bordeaux's Right Bank. He also owns 198 acres in Australia's Barossa Valley for a winery called The Colonial Estate, as well as a third property, in Napa Valley, called World's End, which will produce its first vintage in 2008.