Château Montrose: The Bouygues Brothers

Montrose went on the market in early 2006, the buyers this time being Martin and Olivier Bouygues, two brothers who also happen to be construction and telecommunications magnates. The sale went through, although the dust stirred up by this transaction took some time to settle. An immediate challenge to the sale was made by Caroline Charmolüe, a daughter of Anne-Marie and Jean-Louis, her reason for doing so reputedly an opinion that the agreed price was too low, although it may also be – as reported by French news service 20 Minutes – because the new administration put an end to the wages Caroline was drawing from the estate. This was despite the fact that Caroline, a divorcee who lived in St Emilion with her two children had, according to reported comments from Jean-Louis, very little role in the running of the property.

Château Montrose

But this is now old news, and many years on nothing seems to have come out of this little storm in a wine glass. The reporting of the court case died out, and the Bouygues brothers today retain full control, stamping their authority on the estate, developing and shaping it to their will. Indeed, the locals joke that Montrose is the only Médoc estate with two helipads, just in case both brothers decide to fly in from elsewhere at the same time (there is in fact just one, and it doubles as a car parking area). Bordeaux has clearly come a long way from the time when an estate such as Château Montrose was the property of well-off wine merchants or noblemen.

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