The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc have just announced their new, five-year classification.
The big change is that this is no longer for a single vintage, as it has been since 2010, but for five years and with the three tiers it had in its much earlier incarnation.
The classification now applies to the château and not to the wine, allowing both producers and merchants to think longer term and spend less time applying for the classification every year.
The classification is based on a blind tasting of five vintages and overseen by an independent body. For the two higher levels, two extra criteria come into play: ‘the technical management of the vineyard and the marketing and promotion of the property’.
For the classification to be useful to producers and consumers, the status announced today applies to wines from the 2018 vintage through to that of 2022, although the blind tasting is based on any five vintages between 2008 and 2016 as chosen by the producer. For the 2025 assessment, vintages 2017 to 2021 will be tasted.
It is good to see that attention is also paid to environmental considerations. Depending on the cru bourgeois level, the producers are expected to have achieved, or be in the process of obtaining, level 2 of High Environmental Value certification (HVE or Haute Valeur Environnementale in French).