Filed under: Wine
Prince Robert of Luxembourg, the 42 year old managing director of Domaine Clarence Dillon, oversees, and owns along with his family, two of the most prestigious Premier Grand Cru estates in Bordeaux: Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion. The Prince sat down with Luxist to discuss his strategy to expand his family's business by producing a more affordable wine on a larger scale. His newest creation is "Clarendelle", which he hopes will be the first super premium-branded Bordeaux wine.
Named in honor of his maternal great-grandfather, Clarence Dillon, a New York banker who bought Chateau Haut-Brion in 1935, Clarendelle is offered at a lower price point than the wines produced by the Prince's well known estates---$15 to $25 a bottle compared to well over $300 a bottle for Chateau Haut-Brion and La Mission Haut-Brion. Domaine Clarence Dillon is able to accomplish that by buying wine from dozens of other Bordeaux winemakers and blending it together. Only a small portion of the wine comes from the Domaine Clarence Dillon estates.
Gallery: Domaine Clarence Dillion
Luxist: Tell us why you are buying wine from other Bordeaux winemakers, rather than grapes?
Prince Robert: There's a great advantage to buying wine, rather than grapes. Buying wine gives us more quality control because we already have a finished product. We are not buying grapes because we would not know how they will evolve. The wines that are purchased for Clarendelle, represents the same grape varietals used for the Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion wines.