Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855

1855 Classification1855 Bordeaux classificationclassifiedBordeaux Classification of 1855Bordeaux Wine Official ClassificationClassification of 1855classified Bordeauxclassified Bordeaux estatesSecond growth1855 classification of Bordeaux
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines that were to be on display for visitors from around the world.wikipedia
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First Growth

premier crufirst growthsPremier Cru Supérieur
The wines were ranked in importance from first to fifth growths (crus).
The result was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, a list of the top ranked wines, named the Grand Crus Classés (Great Classified Growths).

Bordeaux wine

BordeauxclaretBordeaux style
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 resulted from the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, when Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines that were to be on display for visitors from around the world.
In 1855, the châteaux of Bordeaux were classified; this classification remains widely used today.

Alexis Lichine's classification of Bordeaux wine

Classification des Grands Crus Rouges de Bordeauxprivate classificationunofficial classification
Alexis Lichine, a member of the 1960 revision panel, launched a campaign to implement changes that lasted over thirty years, in the process publishing several editions of his own unofficial classification and the Alexis Lichine's Guide to the Wines and Vineyards of France, in which he devoted a chapter to the subject.
In considering the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Alexis Lichine held the opinion that the list, some hundred years after the selection was made, no longer expressed the whole truth concerning the ranking of Bordeaux wine.

Château Cantemerle

Cantemerle
Within each category, the various châteaux are ranked in order of quality and only twice since the 1855 classification has there been a change: first when in 1856 Cantemerle was added as a fifth growth (having either been originally omitted by oversight or added as an afterthought, depending on which of the conflicting accounts is correct) and, more significantly, in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated from a second growth to a first growth vineyard after decades of intense lobbying by the powerful Philippe de Rothschild.
The wine produced here was the final estate to be classified as one of eighteen Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Château Mouton Rothschild

Chateau Mouton RothschildMouton RothschildChâteau Mouton
Within each category, the various châteaux are ranked in order of quality and only twice since the 1855 classification has there been a change: first when in 1856 Cantemerle was added as a fifth growth (having either been originally omitted by oversight or added as an afterthought, depending on which of the conflicting accounts is correct) and, more significantly, in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated from a second growth to a first growth vineyard after decades of intense lobbying by the powerful Philippe de Rothschild.
The Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely on recent market prices for a vineyard's wines, with one exception: Château Mouton Rothschild.

Margaux AOC

MargauxMargaux Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée
A third, but less known "change", is the removal of Château Dubignon, a third growth from Margaux that was absorbed into the estate Château Malescot St. Exupéry.
It contains 21 cru classé châteaux, more than any other commune in Bordeaux.

Cru (wine)

Grand Crucrucrus
The wines were ranked in importance from first to fifth growths (crus).
Following the success of the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, Jules Lavalle developed an informal classification of vineyards of the Côte d'Or in his book History and Statistics of the Côte d'Or.

Château Latour

LatourChateau Latour
Château Latour is a French wine estate, rated as a First Growth under the 1855 Bordeaux Classification, owned by Groupe Artemis.

Château Margaux

Chateau MargauxMargauxChateau-Margaux
Château Margaux, archaically La Mothe de Margaux, is a wine estate of Bordeaux wine, and was one of four wines to achieve Premier cru (first growth) status in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855.

Cru Bourgeois

Cru Bourgeois SupérieurCrus BourgeoisCrus Bourgeois Exceptionnels
Many of the leading estates from the Médoc appellation that were not included in the 1855 classification are classified as Cru Bourgeois, a classification system that has been updated on a regular basis since 1932, banned in 2007, but reinstated in 2010.
The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the châteaux from the Médoc that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classés, or Classed Growths.

Château Lafite Rothschild

Château LafiteChâteau Lafite-RothschildChateau Lafite
Lafite was one of four wine-producing châteaux of Bordeaux originally awarded First Growth status in the 1855 Classification, which was based on the prices and wine quality at that time.

Graves (wine region)

GravesGraves AOCSauternes
All of the red wines that made it on the list came from the Médoc region except for one: Château Haut-Brion from Graves.
In the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, only one Graves property, Château Haut-Brion, one of the four original First growths, was included among the red wines, with all the rest being Médoc properties.

Philippe de Rothschild

Baron Philippe de RothschildGeorges PhilippePhilippe
Within each category, the various châteaux are ranked in order of quality and only twice since the 1855 classification has there been a change: first when in 1856 Cantemerle was added as a fifth growth (having either been originally omitted by oversight or added as an afterthought, depending on which of the conflicting accounts is correct) and, more significantly, in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was elevated from a second growth to a first growth vineyard after decades of intense lobbying by the powerful Philippe de Rothschild.
Nonetheless, the Mouton vineyard was still rated as a "Second Growth" as a result of the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 (reputedly due to the vintner's Anglo-Jewish heritage) and Philippe de Rothschild began a lifelong mission to change this judgment.

Médoc AOC

MédocFrance, MédocMédoc appellation
Many of the leading estates from the Médoc appellation that were not included in the 1855 classification are classified as Cru Bourgeois, a classification system that has been updated on a regular basis since 1932, banned in 2007, but reinstated in 2010.
Predominantly an area of cooperatives today, none of the estates were included in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, although several have been included in the (eventually discontinued) classification Cru Bourgeois.

Château Lascombes

Lascombe
The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Seconds Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Château Dubignon

A third, but less known "change", is the removal of Château Dubignon, a third growth from Margaux that was absorbed into the estate Château Malescot St. Exupéry.
The estate was classified as a Troisième Cru (Third Growth) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, and was during its time considered the smallest cru of all.

The Liv-ex Bordeaux Classification

2009 re-calculation
In March 2009, the British wine exchange Liv-ex released The Liv-ex Bordeaux Classification, a modern re-calculation of the 1855 classification, with an aim to apply the original method to the contemporary economical context.
The classification of 2009 was inspired by the historical Bordeaux Classification and ranked the wines of the Bordeaux Left Bank solely on the price that each wine was worth at the time.

Château Léoville-Las Cases

Château Leoville Las Cases
The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Château Malescot St. Exupéry

A third, but less known "change", is the removal of Château Dubignon, a third growth from Margaux that was absorbed into the estate Château Malescot St. Exupéry.
The wine produced here was classified as one of fourteen Troisièmes Crus (Third Growths) in the historic Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Château Brane-Cantenac

Brane-CantenacChâteau de Gorce
The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

Henri Enjalbert

Other critics have followed a similar suit, including Robert Parker who published a top 100 Bordeaux estates in 1985 and L'histoire de la vigne & du vin (The History of Wine and the Vine) by Bernard and Henri Enjalbert in 1989, as well as efforts made by Clive Coates (MW) and David Peppercorn (MW).
The latter book launched a revised perspective on the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, and for which he posthumously received the Prix littéraire de l'Académie du Vin de Bordeaux in 1984.

Robert M. Parker Jr.

Robert ParkerRobert M. Parker, Jr.Robert M. Parker
Other critics have followed a similar suit, including Robert Parker who published a top 100 Bordeaux estates in 1985 and L'histoire de la vigne & du vin (The History of Wine and the Vine) by Bernard and Henri Enjalbert in 1989, as well as efforts made by Clive Coates (MW) and David Peppercorn (MW).
For example, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was based entirely upon the château's reputation and trading price in 1855.

Château Gruaud-Larose

Gruaud-Larose
The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.

David Peppercorn

Other critics have followed a similar suit, including Robert Parker who published a top 100 Bordeaux estates in 1985 and L'histoire de la vigne & du vin (The History of Wine and the Vine) by Bernard and Henri Enjalbert in 1989, as well as efforts made by Clive Coates (MW) and David Peppercorn (MW).
He is a noted critic of the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 and the vested interest in the classifications.

Château Rauzan-Ségla

Château Rausan-Ségla
The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.