Following on from the news that Chateau Laulan Ducos was purchased by the Chinese jewellery giant TESiRO I spotted that Adams French Vineyards have sold Chateau Lagarosse to Chung Keung Steve Loo, an investor from Hong Kong. This sale managed to slip under my radar and took place in early February.
Not much is known about the buyer from Hong Kong but after a bit of digging I found out that a gentleman of the same name is the CEO of Global Key Investment Limited which purchased Gracia International Winery which is in the business of purchasing Ice Wine from a Canadian producer and red wine from international producers and marketing, distributing and selling them into China.
Adams also sold Chateau Candale to Jean-Louis Vicard of Vicard Tonnelleries (Cooperage) in Cognac (the largest single-site cooperage in France). Jean Louis hopes to raise the profile of Candale and the chateau is hoped to serve as a bridgehead for the activities of the family cooperage in Bordeaux.
Adams French Vineyards was created by the Stephen and Denise Adams – having amassed a fortune in business in America Stephen Adams made his first purchase of Chateau Lagarosse in the Premières Côtes de Bordeaux in 2000, followed by the Saint Emilion properties Chateau Candale in 2002, Château Fonplégade in 2004 and Chateau Bel Air in Lalande de Pomerol in 2005.
Chateau L’Enclos was purchased in 2007 as well as Chateau Roylland (Saint Emilion). Adams also owns three wineries in California, his own wine import company, a wine shipping firm, and wine clubs.
Chateau Fonplégade is the flagship of their of vineyards and on checking the Adams French Vineyards website is the only chateau online out of their portfolio. It seems that Adams, now 73, wishes to concentrate on Chateau Fonplégade.
Chateau Lagarosse produces both red and white wines and lies in the village of Tabanac in the Canton of Créon . Vines have been grown there since Roman times – Tabanac takes its name from the Roman land owner Tabanus.
The wines fall under the Cotes de Bordeaux AOC and Lagarosse has a picturesque medieval château which was partly burnt and rebuilt in the 15th century by Gaspard de Gaulne.
It then became the residence of the Earls of Lastic, one of whom was a member of the General Assembly of the Gironde. The noble family of Lastic have ancient roots and date back to feudal times, originally hailing from the Auvergne.
In the September of 1867 Princess Clotilde Napoleon (Maria Clotilde of Savoy), the wife of Napoléon Joseph Charles Paul Bonaparte (nephew of Napoléon I) visited the Lastic family at Lagarosse.
Clotilde was a young princess (she was married at 15) and admired the chateau – she spent time praying in the chapel and walking in gardens.
The vineyards of Lagarosse stand on the slopes of the Garonne River, 20 km south east of Bordeaux and cover 32 hectares.
The grapes grown are80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon for the red wines and 80% Semillon and 20% Sauvignon Blanc for the white wines. The chateau produces 150,000 bottles.
It’s reported that Lagarosse is nicknamed the “Haut Brion of the Cotes de Bordeaux” – probably for its Chateau on the label.
Given the importance of labelling for the Chinese market doubtless this will go down well with the chateau’s new owner!