Château Léoville was at the time of the French revolution the largest estate in the Médoc, however, it was confiscated when the Marquis de la Cases fled the Revolution. Léoville Barton occupies a quarter share of what used to be the original Léoville estate. In 1826 Hugh Barton, an Irishman who with his partner Daniel Guestier ran the successful négociant business of Barton & Guestier bought a share of the confiscated estate at auction during the Revolution with the purpose of returning it to its original owner. The Marquis de Las Cases, unfortunately, was unable to reimburse M. Barton for the land and so he remained the owner. Five years before, Hugh Barton had acquired the neighbouring property of Langoa in 1821 and as there is no chai on the Léoville land he was forced to vinify both the wines of Léoville and Langoa at the chai on the Langoa estate. This practice continues to this day.
The history Château Leoville Barton is the history of one family. Léoville Barton therefore has the distinction of being owned by one family for nearly two centuries, this is longer than any other classified wine. It was inherited by Hugh’s grandson Ronald who took control after his father Bertrum Hugh died in a hunting accident in 1927. When Roland died in 1986 he had no heir so his nephew Anthony, who had moved to Bordeaux in 1951, took control of both Châteaux. Anthony’s Uncle Ronald was a traditionalist and did not readily embrace new techniques; however, Anthony has introduced many modernisations that have consistently improved the wine since his tenure began in 1986 and with his daughter Lilian now working alongside him, the future is in safe hands.
Léoville Barton is situated in the centre of Saint-Julien and has gravely soil with a subsoil of clay. The wine is Cabernet Sauvignon dominated and has flavours of dark fruit and a nose of cedar which is typical of a wine from Saint-Julien. Especially in recent years, Léoville Barton has a reputation of producing wonderful wines at reasonable prices and coupled with the wit and charm of Anthony Barton this is a favourite of consumers, investors and journalists alike.