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Delhi Wine Club
Prats to depart Cos as he wants to

Posted: Wednesday, 17 October 2012 16:16

Prats to depart Cos as he wants to

October 17: Jean-Guillaume Prats, the CEO of the Bordeaux Second Growth Cos d’Estournel has, in a surprising move, announced on Monday that he is quitting after January next year after working for 12 years. Michel Reybier, the owner of the celebrated St Estephe second growth since 2000, sent a letter to Bordeaux négociants informing them about Prats’ decision

Jean-Guillaume Prats, son of the previous owner Bruno Prats, was asked to stay on after the sale in 1998. He became the CEO, at less than 30 years of age and was one of the youngest chief executives in Bordeaux. Prats became synonymous with Cos; many consumers and even professionals in India and many other countries believe his family still owns the chateau. and whose father once owned the company and that he will remain at Cos to supervise the ongoing 2012 harvest.

During his tenure, the company has made tremendous progress in terms of quality and prices. The winery came to be known as Super Second and made Decanter to publish an article a few years ago announcing that it was being promoted as the First Growth. (It turned out that the article was published on April Fools’ Day and was later removed from the website but not before Jean-Guillaume had received congratulatory messages from many people including from delWine.

Cos has a strong India connection that goes back to over 150 years. He has visited India on many occasions and though priced generally higher than most other wines in its category, it flirts frequently with the quality of the First Growths at less than a third of the price but of late the prices have been hitting the ceiling.

Its 2009 vintage, considered to be one of the best in the last few decades was one of the wines selected in the ‘Magical 20 Tasting’ organised by the Wine Future Conference in Hong Kong last November and was highly praised by Robert Parker. However, the exceptionally high price and the powerful and opulent style had also divided opinions in the industry. For instance, Jancis Robinson MW is known to have been critical of the high alcohol and powerful concentration. Steven Spurrier described it as a vintage that would require years to develop finesse.

Prats has been supposedly a supporter for radical changes in the annual En Primeur system in Bordeaux, recommending that the prices should be declared by the Chateaux only in September.

The owner of Cos d’Estournel, the Swiss based Frenchman Michel Reybier has accepted the resignation to make way for the ‘new professional challenge.’  Apparently, the decision was made by Prats who might even go to South Africa to join his father Bruno Prats who is actively involved in a project there.

For a related interview with Prats when he was in India, please visit
Cos d'Estournel hopes to acquire Montelena

Subhash Arora



Subhash Arora Says:

Jean-Guillaume Prats will take up the post of CEO with the wine (not champagne) producing units of LVMH-Estates & Wines, makers of Cloudy Bay, Cape Mentelle, Newton Vineyard (Napa), Terrazas and Cheval des Andes (Argentina), Numanthia (Spain) and Domaine Chandon (Australia) with effect from February 2013. According to Decanter, Prats will be based in Paris and will be a board member of the LVMH Comité Opérationnel. Since 2011, he had been chairman of the board of Domaines Reybier and Château Cos d’Estournel, making one wonder why he would take up this job. Estate & Wines lists Moët Hennessy India as its distributor. It also lists Ashwin Deo as the contact point although he left the company a couple of years ago! Subhash Arora

Posted @ October 23, 2012 10:57


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