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Cheval Blanc gets new MD in management shift

Pierre-Olivier Clouet, as technical director of Cheval Blanc during 2022-vintage en primeur tastings earlier this year.

The moves combine an evolution in management with a sense of continuity at Cheval Blanc, given new MD Pierre-Olivier Clouet has been technical director at the estate since 2008.

Clouet initially joined Cheval Blanc as an intern in 2004, and was himself recruited by Pierre Lurton, who has managed the famous St-Emilion estate since the arrival of the Château’s current joint-owners, the Arnault and Frère families, in 1998.

Lurton, who had also been director at Cheval Blanc since 1990, will now take on the role of chairman of the board, it was announced today (11 July).

The estate said the move would help the Arnault and Frère families to continue to realise their long-term vision for the property. Bernard Arnault and family own LVMH, which includes famous wine names like Krug, Dom Pérignon, Château d’Yquem and Joseph Phelps.

Clouet has already undertaken key technical projects at Cheval Blanc, such as new cellars designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc and a greater focus on agroecology in the vineyards.

He also oversaw the creation of Petit Cheval Blanc white wine, with the inaugural 2014 vintage first launched in 2016.

He takes the management reins with Cheval Blanc now sitting outside of the St-Emilion Classification, which is renewed every 10 years.

The estate did not seek to retain its status as a Premier Grand Cru Classé A property in the latest Classification, which was published in 2022. Fellow ‘A’ estates Châteaux Angélus and Ausone also withdrew from the process, although all of them said they continued to support the St-Emilion appellation more broadly.

Cheval Blanc has continued to earn strong plaudits for its wines, which have tended to be among the more successful releases during Bordeaux’s annual en primeur campaigns.

Cheval Blanc 2022, named a possible 100-point wine of the future by Decanter’s Georgie Hindle, was released relatively early in the most recent en primeur campaign, with UK merchants offering it for £5,760 (12x75cl in bond).

‘Merchants widely quoted this release as a success,’ said Liv-ex, a global marketplace for the trade, although it described the wider en primeur campaign as another missed opportunity overall.

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The post Cheval Blanc gets new MD in management shift appeared first on Decanter.

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