Chateau Faurie de Souchard sold to Dassault family

Chateau Faurie de Souchard has been purchased by the Dassault family, owners of neighbouring Chateau Dassault and Chateau La Fleur.

Chateau Faurie de Souchard has 12 hectares of vines in a single block surrounding the chateau and is situated in a sector to the north of the village of Saint-Emilion that is home to a number of other Grand Cru Classe estates, including Chateau Soutard, Chateau Petit Faurie de Soutard, Chateau Larmande, Chateau Cadet Piola and Chateau Dassault. The property has been owned by the Sciard family since 1933, when the current owner’s father, Maurice Jabiol, purchased the estate, which at that time covered just 6.5 hectares. Since 2006, when Francoise Sciard handed day-to-day responsibility for the running of the estate to two of her five children, Thibaut and Geoffrey, the property has undergone significant renovation in both the vineyard and winemaking facilities. They also hired Stephane Derenoncourt as a consultant in order to help improve the quality and image of the wine.  However, the property was badly hit by hail in 2009 and has had difficulty building its reputation. None of the five children work full time at the estate so the decision to sell was perhaps inevitable.  According to some reports there were ultimately two bidders, with the vendors preferring the security of a deal with the Dassault family.

The Dassault family acquired Chateau Dassault, then named Chateau Couperie, in 1955.  They renamed it Chateau Dassault and in 1969 it was elevated to Grand Cru Classe status.  The estate has 29 hectares of vines and in 2002 they also acquired the neighboring estate of Chateau La Fleur, which covers 6.3 hectares.  With the acquisition of Chateau Faurie de Souchard they now own over 45 hectares of vines in Saint-Emilion.  They have also established a cooperation with Domaines Baron de Rothschild, which involved them taking a 5% stake in Chateau L’Evangile in Pomerol and Chateau Rieussec in Sauternes.

The sale of Chateau Faurie de Souchard brings to eight the number of Grand Cru Classe estates sold in the last three years. They are: Chateau l’Arosee (June 2013); Chateau Cote de Baleau, Chateau Les Grandes Murailles, Clos Saint-Martin (March 2013); Chateau Bellfont-Belcier (September 2012); Chateau Matras (June 2011); Chateau Tertre-Daugay (June 2011); Chateau Grand Corbin (April 2011). That list might well be added to in the coming months as I know of at least one other that is currently on the market.

Alexander Hall