Forbes Russia: Low Marks Again from Saint-Émilion: Russian billionaire’s new wine

N-Trans co-founder Andrey Filatov adorns the labels of his Bordeaux wines with works of art from his personal collection of socialist realist paintings

Three years ago, Andrey Filatov purchased the Chateau La Grace Dieu des Prieurs (“preserved by the grace of God’s priors”) winery in Saint-Émilion (Bordeaux, France), which was founded in 1885. Filatov is the co-founder and co-owner of N-Trans, one of the largest transport companies in Russia. The winery produces 35,000 bottles of wine per year. According to one of Filatov’s representatives, the entrepreneur enlisted the services of wine expert and consultant Louis Mitjavile to help improve the quality of his wines. And the renovation project of the chateau itself was led by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel.      

According to the website, as of May 22, La Grace Dieu Des Prieurs wine could be purchased for between €16 (2010 vintage) and €121 (2010 vintage) per bottle, and was rated at four-and-a-half stars out of five.  

Filatov has declined to comment on how money he has pumped into the winery (the purchase price plus subsequent investment), although Forbes estimates the total amount to be around €30 million.

“La Grace Dieu Des Prieursis a relatively well-known winery, producing superior quality wine. Saint-Émilion is an expensive region and wines produced there are in high demand right now. The fact that they have managed to get Louis Mitjavile on board suggests that this is a very ambitious project indeed,” wine critic Igor Serdyuk notes.       

Starting in 2017, the labels of all Chateau La Grace Dieu Des Prieurs wines will contain reproductions of paintings from the collection of the Art Russe Foundation, which was founded by Filatov in 2012. “The union of Art Russe and Saint Emilion Grand Cru will create a synergy through which to promote and popularize both the art of French winemaking and Russian painting,” Filatov told Forbes.       

The Foundation has amassed a collection of 110 works of Russian and Soviet art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Works by Viktor Vasnetsov, Ilya Repin, Filipp Malyavin, Vladimir Serov, Nicolai Fechin and Fyodor Reshetnikov (including an early version of his painting Low Marks Again) were selected to be used on the labels in 2017.

Igor Popov