After a classification was cancelled in 2003 due to accusations of a biased jury and criticisms of too much heterogeneity, the Crus Bourgeois have managed to come back from this, rebuilding to the point of representing 31% of the Médoc’s total production.
A classification in constant evolution
If some Bordeaux classifications have lasted over 150 years without any great upset, the new Crus Bourgeois, from the 2018 vintage, will last five years before being re-evaluated. In order to lay claim to this title, a cuvée must already be part of one of the Médoc’s prestigious AOCs (Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis-en-Médoc, Margaux, Saint-Julien, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe) and follow precise regulations, with notable environmental constraints.
A new three-level hierarchy
A tasting committee will evaluate the typicity of the wines, and these will be blind tastings in order to avoid any suspicion of bias. If following the cancellation of the 2003 classification, some of Bordeaux’s biggest Châteaux turned away from Crus Bourgeois because of a lack of homogeneity, the new hierarchy has been created to combat this issue, hopefully bringing more clarity. This is a pyramid classification with a particularly demanding level at the top. It starts with Crus Bourgeois (179) then Crus Bourgeois supérieur (56) followed by Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel (14).
If you want to figure out your own opinion of the excellence of these Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels, here is a selection of Châteaux we’ve been working with for a long time who have all been promoted to this level.