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The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the high quality wines from the Left Bank Bordeaux wine regions that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Classed Growths, or Grands Crus Classés. As the classification of Classed Growths had only one change since 1856, it came to be widely regarded as outdated, and many wine writers agree that there is considerable overlap in quality between the Classed Growths and the Cru Bourgeois.[1]

The first Cru Bourgeois list was drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Agriculture in 1932, selecting 444 estates for the classification.[2] A 2003 revision of the classification was overturned by the French government in 2007, resulting in a ban of all use of the term, set to be lifted by 2009.

Contents

Classification

The 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification (annulled in 2007) proposed a system of 247 wines classified in three tiers:

Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels  Appellation
Château Chasse-Spleen (Moulis-en-Médoc)  
Château Haut-Marbuzet (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Labégorce Zédé (Margaux)
Château Les Ormes-de-Pez (Saint-Estèphe)
Château de Pez (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Phélan Ségur (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Potensac (Médoc)
Château Poujeaux (Moulis-en-Médoc)
Château Siran (Margaux)

(Total:9)

Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs

(Total:87)

Crus Bourgeois

(Total 151)

As with any such classification system, there was controversy over these rankings, and some very highly regarded wines such as Château Gloria and Château Sociando-Mallet did not apply for classification.

Annulment

In February 2007, the French courts overturned the 2003 revision based on an appeal by dissatisfied producers.[3] In essence the court ruled that four of the panel had conflicting interests, as owners of relevant wineries, and could not be seen as independent.[4] Additionally, some vineyards were listed with both its Grand vin and second wine.[2] The classification was at that point reverted to the 1932 classification, with the tiers Exceptionnel and Supérieur removed, and the original 444 estates equally classified Cru Bourgeois.[3]

In July of that year, the suspension was officially amended and all use of the term Cru Bourgeois became illegal. As the 2005 vintages were already bottled and with further anticipated delays, the ruling was expected to be enforced starting with the 2007 vintage. The ban applies to all wines, also extending to those wineries in Sauternes, Côtes-de-Bourg and Blaye who use the term.[5]

The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois responded by taking a new motion to the government, to create a new certification adopting the term Label Cru Bourgeois from the 2007 vintage to be released in 2009, "not as a classification, but as a mark of quality" open to all Médoc wines, based on production and quality standards.[6]

In February 2008, however, a format for the classification to be reintroduced in 2009 was agreed by 180 estates from the defunct 2003 ranking, along with 95 new entrants. The revision demands that estates adhere to a new set of production rules and independent quality testing in order to remain in the classification, and at this stage the terms Cru Bourgeois Supérieur or Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel would be no longer used.[7]

Regions

Crus Bourgeois wineries can be found across the Médoc, but there is a particularly high concentration in the Saint-Estèphe appellation, on the plateau south and west of the village.[8]

See also

Sources

Footnotes
  1. ^ Goldberg, Howard G., Wine News (April, 2005). "Dusting off the 1855 debate". http://www.thewinenews.com/aprmay05/comment.asp.  
  2. ^ a b Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Cru Bourgeois Classification". http://www.thewinedoctor.com/regionalguides/bordeauxclassificationscrubourgeois.shtml.  
  3. ^ a b Rosen, Maggie, Decanter (2007-02-28). "Cru bourgeois classification annulled". http://www.decanter.com/news/111346.html.  
  4. ^ Budd, Jim, Wine Business Insider (2007-03-05). "Cru Bourgeois Classification Annulled". http://www.winebusiness.com/ReferenceLibrary/webarticle.cfm?dataId=46859.  
  5. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter (2007-07-10). "Cru Bourgeois classification officially over". http://www.decanter.com/news/128635.html.  
  6. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter (2007-07-27). "Cru Bourgeois to rise again with new name". http://www.decanter.com/news/132485.html.  
  7. ^ Anson, Jane, Decanter (2008-02-26). "Cru Bourgeois revived". http://www.decanter.com/news/184450.html.  
  8. ^ H. Johnson & J. Robinson, The World Atlas of Wine p. 88, Mitchell Beazley Publishing, 2005. ISBN 1840003324

External links

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File:Three Cru
Three Cru Bourgeois wines. In the 2003 classification two were Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels, Château Chasse-Spleen and Château Poujeaux, and one a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, Château Caronne Sainte-Gemme.

The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the high quality wines from the Left Bank Bordeaux wine regions that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Classed Growths, or Grands Crus Classés. As the classification of Classed Growths had only one change since 1856, it came to be widely regarded as outdated, and many wine writers agree that there is considerable overlap in quality between the Classed Growths and the Cru Bourgeois.[1]

The first Cru Bourgeois list was drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Agriculture in 1932, selecting 444 estates for the classification.[2] A substantial revision of the classification, dividing it into three tiers, was initiated in 2000 and finalised in 2003. Following several legal turns, the 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification was annulled by the French government in 2007, resulting in a ban of all use of the term. In 2010, a significantly modified version of the Cru Bourgeois was reintroduced, consisting only of a single tier, and applied to the 2008 vintage.[3]

Contents

2003 Classification

The 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification (annulled in 2007) proposed a system of 247 wines classified in three tiers:

Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels  Appellation
Château Chasse-Spleen (Moulis-en-Médoc)  
Château Haut-Marbuzet (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Labégorce Zédé (Margaux)
Château Les Ormes-de-Pez (Saint-Estèphe)
Château de Pez (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Phélan Ségur (Saint-Estèphe)
Château Potensac (Médoc)
Château Poujeaux (Moulis-en-Médoc)
Château Siran (Margaux)

(Total:9)

Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs

(Total:87)

Crus Bourgeois

(Total 151)

As with any such classification system, there was controversy over these rankings, and some very highly regarded wines outside the 1855 classificatio such as Château Gloria and Château Sociando-Mallet did not apply for classification.

Annulment

In February 2007, the French courts overturned the 2003 revision based on an appeal by dissatisfied producers.[4] In essence the court ruled that four of the panel had conflicting interests, as owners of relevant wineries, and could not be seen as independent.[5] Additionally, some vineyards were listed with both its Grand vin and second wine.[2] The classification was at that point reverted to the 1932 classification, with the tiers Exceptionnel and Supérieur removed, and the original 444 estates equally classified Cru Bourgeois.[4]

In July of that year, the suspension was officially amended and all use of the term Cru Bourgeois became illegal. As the 2005 vintages were already bottled and with further anticipated delays, the ruling was expected to be enforced starting with the 2007 vintage. The ban applies to all wines, also extending to those wineries in Sauternes, Côtes-de-Bourg and Blaye who use the term.[6]

The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois responded by taking a new motion to the government, to create a new certification adopting the term Label Cru Bourgeois from the 2007 vintage to be released in 2009, "not as a classification, but as a mark of quality" open to all Médoc wines, based on production and quality standards.[7]

2010 reintroduction

In February 2008, a format for the classification to be reintroduced was agreed by 180 estates from the defunct 2003 ranking, along with 95 new entrants. The revision demanded that estates adhere to a new set of production rules and independent quality testing in order to remain in the classification, and initially the terms Cru Bourgeois Supérieur or Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel would no longer be used.[8]

Initially, the organisation L'Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc hoped to be able to reintroduce the classification in 2009, and apply it to the 2007 vintage, but this was not achieved. Instead, the new classification was unveiled in 2010, and applied to the 2008 vintage.[3]

While the new Cru Bourgeois classification was being prepared, six out of nine of the former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel decided to remain outside the new one-tier classification. Instead, they formed a group named Les Exceptionnels, primarily to stage common marketing events. Members of this group are Château Chasse Spleen, Château Les Ormes de Pez, Château de Pez, Château Potensac, Château Poujeaux and Château Siran.[9]

Regions

Crus Bourgeois wineries can be found across the Médoc, but there is a particularly high concentration in the Saint-Estèphe appellation, on the plateau south and west of the village.[10]

See also

Sources

Footnotes

External links


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