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Domaine Clarence Dillon buys neighbouring estate

The Bordeaux estate Domaine Clarence Dillon has this week completed its purchase of its neighbouring chateau Domaine Allary Haut-Brion from the Allary family, securing a 3.3 acre parcel that borders the prestigious French winemaking region.

Domaine Allary has been in the possession of the Allary family since 1919, and while the final price has yet to be disclosed, the land was previously valued at $1.4 million (£900,000) in March 2008.

Current head of the estate Daniel Allary explained that the sale came about after the family had struggled to produce enough grapes from the vines.

"It was a natural course of events," he told the Wine Spectator. "We experimented making the wine ourselves for a few years, but it was such a small quantity."

The estate spent much of the 20th century under the control of Haut-Brion, with the Allary family paying their rent in wine until new laws were introduced that forbade two chateau vintages being mixed in the same cellar.

From 1979 to 2007, Haut-Brion blended grapes from the Allary vineyards into a second wine called Bahans Haut-Brion until Michael Allary regained control of the family's crops in 2006.

He famously lost a legal battle to use the name La Passion Haut Brion, but released the first vintage in 2008 to great acclaim before the estate was passed to his son Daniel upon his death in 2010.

The estate produced around 400 cases of a Cabernet Franc-Cabernet Sauvignon blend, primarily mixed by Daniel's sister Marie-Felicia Allary with Stéphane Derenoncourt acting as a consultant.

"The sale went quietly; it was harmonious," Daniel said. "Haut-Brion began taking over the vineyards last summer and they harvested the 2012."

Prince Robert de Luxembourg, owner of the purchasing estate Domaine Clarence Dillon, said he would consider replanting the vines at the estate at some point in the near future, although they would probably be used to make at least one more vintage.

The Allary family are said to be considering new wine projects.



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Prestigious chateau sold to Haut-Brion estate
Prestigious chateau sold to Haut-Brion estate
Prestigious chateau sold to Haut-Brion estate