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Bordeaux 2019 Cru Bourgeois at Three Years

Bordeaux 2019 Cru Bourgeois at Three Years

This is the second in a series of three reports on currently available Cru Bourgeois wines, from a tasting I undertook late in 2022. At the time only three vintages (2018, 2019 and 2020) were eligible to declare the newly revitalised classification on the label, and this tasting took in all three. Having covered the wines of the 2018 vintage in an earlier report, I focus here exclusively on the 2019 vintage.

As I have already detailed in the 2018 report, the new Cru Bourgeois classification was published in 2020 and valid for five vintages, starting with 2018. What I did not detail was the associated and very welcome revival of the internal tier system which divides the classified châteaux into three groups, the entry-level Cru Bourgeois ranking, and the elevated Cru Bourgeois Supérieur and Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel tiers. A defining feature of the classification ever since it was first drawn up in 1932 (even if the exact names of the two elevated ranks have changed a little over the years) I think it was essential that this three-tier system be reintroduced.

Bordeaux 2019 Cru Bourgeois at Three Years

Any châteaux which achieves Cru Bourgeois status is eligible to apply for ‘promotion’ to the Supérieur or Exceptionnel tiers. To do so the proprietor must submit a dossier explaining how the property meets the criteria for an elevated rank. These criteria are as follows; first, a commitment to sustainability through Haute Valeur Environnementale certification; secondly, detail on the quality of work, specifically in the vineyard, at harvest, in the cellars, at bottling, and subsequent quality assurance; and thirdly, details on promotion of the property, including visitor reception, distribution and marketing.

The end result, as I describe with full listings in my guide to the Cru Bourgeois classification (which also includes historical listings for the 1932, 1966, 1978 and 2003 iterations of the classification), was that 14 châteaux were ranked as Exceptionnel, and 56 ranked as Supérieur.

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