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Prats to leave Cos d’Estournel

Jean-Guillaume Prats is to leave Cos d’Estournel in the new year.

Jean-Guillaume Prats, photo credit: the wine cellar insider

In a letter to négociants, owner Michel Reybier announced that Prats would be taking on a “new professional challenge”, adding: “I want to thank him as well as the whole team of Cos d’Estournel, for the excellent job done all these years, and wish him every success for the future.”

The news broke yesterday, 15 October, taking many by surprise although it is thought that it was Prats’ choice rather than that of Reybier.

It was announced that Prats will stay at the château until the end of January next year, when he will depart for another, as yet unnamed, estate.

the drinks business wonders whether he may be en route to South Africa, where his father Bruno and Angélus’ Hubert de Bouard are working on their project in Constantia.

Christophe Ranger from Reybier’s organisation is widely tipped as a possible successor to Prats.

Prats has been managing the estate since 2001 and has overseen Cos’ continued rise over the past decade in both standing and price.

The 2009 was famously brought out at an exceptionally high price that split opinion in the trade. Jancis Robinson MW was less than convinced by its high alcohol and powerful concentration, whereas Robert Parker voted it one of his favourite wines of the vintage and included it in his “Magical 20” tasting in Hong Kong last year.

Interest in the wine subsequently jumped significantly. However, the high price of the 2011 vintage was less successful with either trade or collectors, with many scornful of the château’s attempts at re-positioning.

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