Château Cheval Blanc: Modern Times

Jean Laussac-Fourcaud and Henriette Ducasse had at least seven children, five daughters who were all named Marie Louise, so I assume they went by their third and/or fourth names which were Jeanne Melicie (born 1852), Juliette (born 1858), Marguerite Zilia (1861 – 1954), Henriette (born 1870) and Magdelaine (born 1876). There were also two sons, Marie Jean Simon Albert (1855 – 1927) and Marie Louis Jean (born 1868). It was the elder of these two brothers, who went by the name of Albert, who was the significant figure in terms of the inheritance of the domaine. He bought out his siblings, ensuring the domaine stayed whole. And for some reason Albert also reversed his surname, becoming Albert Fourcaud-Laussac.

Château Cheval Blanc

Albert Fourcaud-Laussac steered Château Cheval Blanc through the late-19th and early-20th centuries. These times brought some great vintages, especially the back-to-back pairing of 1899 and 1900, and the superb 1921, none of which – you will probably not be surprised to learn – I have ever had the good fortune to taste. He also had the business acumen and foresight to convert Château Cheval Blanc into a Société Civile, ran by his children, so that upon his death the family would be able to avoid the tax issues and inheritance squabbles that can so easily ruin an otherwise successful vineyard.

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