Following the sale of Chateau Calon Segur one of the heirs, Agnes Florisoone (née Capburn Gasqueton) and her husband Alberic, have purchased Chateau Godeau in Saint Christophe des Bardes, Saint Emilion. Both Agnes and Alberic are negotiants (Florivitis) and I believe they already own Chateau de Piaut in Barsac where they produce Chateau Fleur de Piaut – a lighter style of Sauternes.
Fleur de Piaut is a tiny estate of 3 hectares (7.41 acres) at the edge of the Ciron and the 2007 was the Florisoone’s first harvest. They appear to be quite an innovative couple who are prepared to try new things so Godeau should benefit from their wine making expertise and dynamism.
Chateau Godeau is an up and coming Saint Emilion estate with nearly 6 hectares (14 acres) of vines. Godeau shares some premium terroir, neighbouring Chateaux Tertre Roteboeuf and La Mondotte with Chateaux Troplong Mondot and Pavie not far off.
The Florisoone’s purchased Godeau from the American Steve and Alexandra Filipov who had owned the chateau since 2007. Under the Filipov’s care Godeau underwent extensive modernisation and renovation. Wine making was supervised by the much respected Stephane Derenoncourt and Chateau Godeau’s wines have begun to attract attention. Parker rated the 2009 91 points and said that ‘the 2009 is the best wine Godeau has yet produced’ (he has not tasted the 2010).
Chateau Godeau has been producing wines since the 1960s, then under the ownership of Grégoire Bonte and has plenty of untapped potential to develop. The vineyards are planted with 95% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc and the average annual production is between 24,000 – 30,000 bottles.
The French Press has reported on the relief that Godeau was kept in French hands, especially after the spate of Chinese and Asian purchases in recent years. The Sud Ouest paper quotes Olivier Vizerie of the Vintage Estate Agency as saying that they get 5 or 6 calls a day on behalf of Chinese investors. They are also looking on behalf of a large Chinese group wishing to invest 15 – 20 million euros in an estate:
“After buying midrange wine producing properties which have often been for sale for a long time, today we see people who wish to acquire Grands Crus. The phenomenon began with [the sale of] Bellefont Belcier, the Premier Grand Cru Classé Saint Émilion last November.”