A Guide to Bordeaux Wine Classi cations by Sub-Region
Left Bank Haut Medoc – 1855 Classification of Châteaux (ordered by Napoleon III for the best Bordeaux wines for the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris). The levels start at 1st Growth (Premier Cru) through 5th Growth (62 wines). The 1st Growths are: Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Haut Brion (in Graves) and Château Mouton Rothschild.
Super Seconds – Those 2nd Growths of Haut Medoc that are close to being 1st Growths: Example Léoville Las Cases. Note: all other Left Bank wines are unclassified or Cru Bourgeois (Medoc), which is a Château that is examined and certified for quality.
Left Bank Graves – 1959 Classification: Châteaux are rated “Crus Classé” for red or white wine. Sub-region Pessac-Léognan is its own AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée).
Left Bank Sauternes – Classified in 1855, there are only 3 levels: Premier Cru Supérieur (solely for Chateau d’Yquem), Premier Cru 1st Growth and Deuxiemes Cru (2nd Growth).
Right Bank St. Emilion – This is the only Right Bank location to classify wines. 4 levels of wines: Premier Grand Cru Classé A (only 4 properties Châteaux Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Angélus, and Pavie), Grand Cru Classé B (14 properties), Grand Cru Classé (64 properties), and Grand Cru (lowest classed level).
Right Bank Pomerol – This region has no official classification, yet Château Petrus is considered to rank with the 1st Growths in Bordeaux.
Other Bordeaux Wines, Including Entry Level – There are 7 AOC’s (Appellations d’Origine controlee) for these wines: Bordeaux Rouge AOC, Bordeaux Supérieur Rouge, Bordeaux Clairet, Bordeaux Rosé, Bordeaux Blanc, Bordeaux Supérieur Blanc and Crémant de Bordeaux.