Cru Bour­geois clas­si­fi­ca­tion cri­te­ria con­firmed

Decanter - - A MONTH IN WINE -

The al­liance DES Crus Bour­geois du Mé­doc has con­firmed its re­in­state­ment of the tra­di­tional three-tier clas­si­fi­ca­tion sys­tem, com­pris­ing rank­ings of Cru Bour­geois, Cru Bour­geois Supérieur and Cru Bour­geois Ex­cep­tion­nel.

Due to take ef­fect in 2020, the clas­si­fi­ca­tion will be re­viewed ev­ery five years, mean­ing it will be pos­si­ble for a château to move up or down within the hi­er­ar­chy.

‘We have learned a lot from the past and we are con­fi­dent this will ben­e­fit the châteaux, trade and con­sumers,’ said Al­liance di­rec­tor frédérique Dutheil­let de lamothe, at a lon­don press con­fer­ence in oc­to­ber.

‘The new clas­si­fi­ca­tion main­tains the qual­ity and ori­gin of the Crus Bour­geois du Mé­doc. It is the re­sult of five years of work in con­sul­ta­tion with all the mem­bers of the Crus Bour­geois and the [french] govern­ment.’

In 2003, the sys­tem was re­shaped to recog­nise 247 châteaux made up of nine Crus Bour­geois Ex­cep­tion­nels, 87 Crus Bour­geois Supérieurs and 151 Crus Bour­geois. how­ever, it was scrapped in 2007 after a se­ries of ap­peals by dis­grun­tled châteaux.

In 2010, the Al­liance re­sponded to the de­ba­cle by cre­at­ing a gov­ern­ment­backed ver­i­fi­ca­tion pro­ce­dure in which wines were se­lected, all with ‘Cru Bour­geois’ sta­tus, in blind tast­ings by a panel of ex­perts. It pub­lished its first ‘of­fi­cial se­lec­tion’ based on the 2008 vin­tage, and has done so ev­ery year since.

The re­vived three-tier sys­tem will fol­low a sim­i­lar pro­ce­dure, car­ried out by a body of ex­pert tasters. for 2020, châteaux can sub­mit a choice of five vin­tages from 2008 to 2016. The 2025 clas­si­fi­ca­tion will en­com­pass vin­tages from 2017 to 2021.

The clas­si­fi­ca­tion will take into ac­count ‘qual­ity, con­sis­tency and the ca­pac­ity of the wine to age’ for the top tiers, while also con­sid­er­ing other agri­cul­tural, en­vi­ron­men­tal and tech­ni­cal fac­tors, plus site vis­its.

Above: Al­liance des Crus Bour­geois du Mé­doc di­rec­tor Frédérique Dutheil­let de Lamothe, pic­tured in Paris

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