Learn
to taste

The “Crus Classés”

Video transcription:

« Hello, today I’m going to tell you about Crus Classés. First of all, what is a Cru? A Cru is an estate’s wine, that’s where the vine grows. It’s a very popular term from the 19th century and it now known as château today. So we still use that term when referring to classifications. The oldest Bordeaux wine classification dates back to 18th April 1855. It was created on Napoléon III’s request for the 1855 Paris universal exhibition. Back then, it’s the brokers association did it  on request of Bordeaux chamber of commerce. And actually they made the classification based on the price of wine transactions and also the crus’ notoriety over several years. So the classification is done at the same time as the Medoc red wines but also the sweet white wines from Sauternes and Barsac. In the classification, for sweet white wines there are 3 categories Premier Cru Supérieur, the Premiers Crus Classés and the Seconds Crus Classés. It’s worth knowing that in 1855 those sweet white wines were very popular wines, very sought after, of great quality and drank in the biggest courts of Europe this indeed explains that back then there was a large number of premiers crus classés 11, compared to just 3 Premiers Crus Classés for the Medoc red wines. So this 1855 classification is still valid today and the planted area for the classified wines is 45%. Among those Crus, one of them stands out. It’s Château d’Yquem. The legend has it that in 1847, the Marquis of Lur-Saluces, the then owner of Château d’Yquem was held up in Russia. He is said to have ordered people to wait for him before starting the harvest. So he found very ripe grapes, too ripe. He decided to harvest anyway and realised he had obtained an extraordinarily aromatic vintage. So in 1855, he went from a family business to a world-class business. Indeed, the 1855 classification puts the domain, takes the domain to the one and only Cru Supérieur rank within the classification. The Sauternes and Barsac classification includes 27 crus : 17 Sauternes and 10 Barsac. A Premier Cru Supérieur, we saw it with Château d’Yquem. 11 Premiers Crus: 9 Sauternes, 2 Barsac and 15 Seconds Crus : 7 Sauternes and 8 Barsac. This 1855 classification that actually precedes the appearance of the appellations d’origine created, in fact, with a spirit of responsibillty that propagates from generation to generation and those châteaux all have the same motto: not to lose the honour that they gained. See you very soon for another episode. »

 

You may also
like

View all educational videos