Château Léoville-Poyferré: The Lawton Era

Sadly Louis Armand Lalande did not spend too much longer as proprietor of Château Léoville-Poyferré, as it was in 1894 that he died. He had previously married Catherine Sophie Mathilde Cruse (1829 – 1851) though, and she had given him two children, a daughter Laure Marie Mathilde Lalande (1849 – 1940) and a son Armand II Lalande (1851 – 1934). It may well have been, looking at the date of her death, that Catherine died as a result of complications arising from the birth of their son.

Château Léoville-Poyferré

It would seem that it was Laure Marie Mathilde Lalande who inherited the vineyards at of Château Léoville-Poyferré and Château Moulin Riche. She married the courtier Jean Édouard II Lawton (1846 – 1933), better known simply as Édouard, who was himself the son of the renowned courtier and proprietor Daniel Lawton. Thus the vineyards came into the possession of the Lawton family. They continued on with the domaine until 1920, at which point they sold the property for 1.2 million francs to the Cuvelier family, dourly described by contemporary authors as the proprietors of Château Le Crock. They also happened to be very successful négociants, the Maison de Négoce de Vins Henri Cuvelier having been established in Haubourdin in 1804. By the time the 1922 Cocks et Féret was published the proprietor of Château Léoville-Poyferré was said to be H. Cuvelier, although it was in fact Paul and Albert Cuvelier, two brothers, who were most active in establishing the Cuvelier empire. The vineyards were by this time producing an impressive 120 tonneaux per annum. It is tempting to think that this might be from the absorption of the Moulin Riche vines, but it was not so. The property remained a separate entity, and was ranked in the 1932 Cru Bourgeois classification, but thereafter things declined. By the 1960s, Château Moulin Riche was no more than a name for the second wine of Château Léoville-Poyferré, although as I will explain later this situation has since been put right.

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