St. Emilion, Grand cru classé, suspended!


This just in from Bordeaux: a political institution is found to be full of politics!

In a surprising turn of events, a local court has suspended the St. Emilion grand cru classification, dating from 1954. Four producers who were bounced from the list of 61 producers at last year’s update have brought suit and the court has ruled in their favor. The supposedly independent committee chosen to reclassify the list every ten years was found not to be impartial. Nor did they do much legwork, visiting only seven of the 95 properties they were reviewing.

An interesting aspect is that the four spurned producers who brought the suit are not considered the top in the region anyway. In fact, Nicolas Thienpont, whose Château Pavie-Macquin was promoted to first growth, told that the four disqualified properties “produce rubbish.” Many of the Parker favorites from the region, such as Valandraud and Quinault, were not included in the reclassification last year. But when I asked Jean-Luc Thunevin of Valandraud about it last fall, he was disappointed but in the end shrugged it off. His wine sells at $250 a bottle after all. The wines of some of the four DQ’d producers sell for much less, if they could even find an importer interested in marketing their wines.

And what the heck, the garagistes don’t get mad, they get even. Thunevin, Raynaud of Quinault, and others decided to make their own group anyway, the Cercle Rive Droite. More to follow on this development. And hopefully we will learn more about the inner workings of the Grand Cru system as the court continues these proceedings.

Additional coverage:, Decanter

Related Posts with Thumbnails

One Response to “St. Emilion, Grand cru classé, suspended!”

  1. […] tuned for live reporting from the show now through Thursday. Next up: St. Emilion Grand Cru (or, fka Grand Cru) 2006 […]


Wine Maps

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

See my op-eds in the NYT
"Drink Outside the Box"
"Red, White, and Green"


Monthly Archives


Blog posts via email



Wine industry jobs


One of the “fresh voices taking wine journalism in new and important directions.” -World of Fine Wine

“His reporting over the past six months has had seismic consequences, which is a hell of an accomplishment for a blog.”

"News of such activities, reported last month on a wine blog called Dr. Vino, have captivated wine enthusiasts and triggered a fierce online debate…" The Wall Street Journal

"...well-written, well-researched, calm and, dare we use the word, sober." -Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher, WSJ

jbf07James Beard Foundation awards

Saveur, best drinks blog, finalist 2012.

Winner, Best Wine Blog

One of the "seven best wine blogs." Food & Wine,

One of the three best wine blogs, Fast Company

See more media...


Wine books on Amazon: