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The Bartons extend their Bordeaux properties

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The owners of Château Langoa and Léoville Barton have purchased a property in Moulis.

Chateau Mauvesin

The Barton family, owners of the Bordeaux châteaux Langoa and Léoville Barton, have made their first acquisition since the 1820s. Anthony Barton and his daughter Lilian Barton-Sartorius have purchased Château Mauvesin, an estate located in Moulis in the Médoc. The amount of the transaction has not been made public.

“We had been looking for four or five years,” Lilian Barton-Sartorius told Wine Spectator. “This chateau had been on the market for a while and the price was finally right for us. »

The estate had belonged to the same family of aristocrats since the fifteenth century, the castle having been built in 1853 by the Marquis de Mauvesin. The sellers, Alain de Baritault du Carpia and his wife, Hélène Capbern-Gasqueton, are the current representatives of the family. Hélène is also at the helm of Château Calon-Ségur, a Third Grand Cru of Saint-Estèphe, and Château Capbern-Gasqueton, a cru bourgeois.

The 500-acre estate comprises 120 acres of vines, most of which are classified Moulis en Médoc, and some parts benefit from the Haut-Médoc appellation. The land is gently sloping, made up of a mixture of clay and limestone rock and planted with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and a few rows of Carmenere. The vines are 35 years old on average, but Lilian Barton-Sartorius says they need work.

The ink had barely had time to dry on the sales contract when the Bartons took control of the 2011 harvest. The technical team of Châteaux Langoa and Léoville Barton, namely consultant Eric Boissenot and cellar master François Brehant, joined the Bartons and the estate team in making changes to improve quality without delay. The vast cellars have undergone rapid and temporary renovation. Twenty-two new solid stainless steel vats of different sizes have been installed, which allow more precision during vinification and blending.

For the harvest, the team brought a new tractor that unloads the grapes by vibration, as well as a vibrating sorting table and an optical sorting tool that you don't often see in Moulis. All these instruments contributed to a generous harvest following a perilous growing season.

“Next year, we are going back to basics. The pot room will become the cellar and we are building an underground pot room to work with gravity,” explained Lilian Barton-Sartorius. “We thought about the cement tanks, but we couldn't have moved them. »

For Lilian Barton-Sartorius, property is a family affair. She plans to live in the castle with her husband, Michel Sartorius, who works with her and her father in the family trading business.

They also have two children, both students in the field. Their daughter Mélanie completed studies in agriculture and oenology in Burgundy and Bordeaux. She will be the Barton family's first winemaker and plans to return to work on the family estates after a two-year stint at a Tuscan winery owned by Eric Albada Jelgersma, the owner of Chateau Giscours. According to Lilian Barton-Sartorius, “she will be back in time for the bottling of the 2011 vintage, in 2013”. Their son Damien also spent two years studying agriculture and is now in business school.

Even if the design of the label for the new domain has not yet been chosen, according to Lilian Barton-Sartorius, “it was the Chinese who decided on the name for [her] place. An enterprising person in China has indeed registered the Château Mauvesin brand. Rather than engage in a legal battle or buy out the name, the Bartons will call their new wine Château Mauvesin-Barton.

Source: Suzanne Mustacich
Wine Spectator
October 5, 2011 

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