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Troplong Mondot sale sum revealed

Last year’s sale of St Emilion premier grand cru classé Troplong Mondot to a French insurance firm totalled €178 million it has been revealed.

The figure was unearthed by French newspaper Les Echos, in a piece examining the growing price of land in the Right Bank commune.

Although the sum paid by the SCOR Group was not disclosed at the time of the sale last July, the figure was listed in its annual financial report.

The reported €178m paid is equal to €7m per hectare – well above the generally accepted (or at least acknowledged) prices of €2-4m per hectare for the very best sites in the appellation – but indicative of the sort of over-the-odds prices that are really being paid for top, top estates – the reported €250m François Pinault paid for Clos de Tart in Burgundy last year being another example.

The article was addressing, as French writers seem to have a tendency to do, the rising cost of land in St Emilion and what it means for smaller, family wineries.

The issue was raised recently by the journalist Isabelle Saporta in an explosive 2014 book called Vino Business in which she claimed the AOC was run by “cruel” larger estates and that the AOC was being overrun by multi-millionaire investors who were driving out smaller producers.

Angélus’s Hubert de Boüard was portrayed as one of the chief villains of the book and he sued her, unsuccessfully, for libel.

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