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Last survivor of Mouton Rothschild first growth jury dies

Daniel Lawton, of long established Bordeaux wine broker firm Tastet Lawton and the last surviving member of the panel that promoted Mouton Rothschild to first growth status in 1973, has died aged 85.

Lawton, who died over the weekend, was one of the last figures of the wine aristocracy that came to Bordeaux from Ireland in the 18th Century.

‘We have lost a great figure of Bordeaux,’ Bordeaux mayor Alain Juppe said of the loss of an emblematic figure to the Bordeaux wine trade.

Lawton’s ancestor, Abraham Lawton, emigrated to Bordeaux in 1739 and set up a wine trade between Bordeaux and Cork before opening a brokerage firm that became Tastet Lawton, still a key courtier in today’s Bordeaux.

Lawton was also a key figure in 20th Century Bordeaux, and kept wonderful archives of the family trades of key Bordeaux chateaux dating back to the early 18th Century, alongside detailed weather reports of each vintage.

He was one of the five brokers on the jury that signed off the promotion of Mouton Rothschild to First Growth in 1973, and was the last surviving member of that panel.

Another of his ancestors, Guillaume Lawton, had been on the original 1855 classification panel.

His nephew Eric Samazeuilh will continue to run Tastet Lawton, as he has for the past few years.

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Written by Jane Anson

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