Rising through the ranks of Bordeaux

Classification lists in other parts of Bordeaux are rigid, but St. Émilion’s is reviewed and changed every 5 years or so. The 2012 vintage, the one currently arriving to ABC locations around the state, is one such vintage. The top level, Premier Grand Cru Classé, is jealously guarded by those already in it and those just outside aspire to be included. This competition has led to court battles and ill feelings in the past and the newest version was no different.

St. Emilion as seen from Pavie-Macquin

St. Emilion as seen from Pavie-Macquin

Within the top level, there are A and B sublevels. For 2012, four châteaux were elevated to B status and two former B-level estates were crowned A. From the beginning in 1955, there have been only two châteaux in the exalted A level, Ausone and Cheval Blanc. Pavie and Angélus joined the club. The wines are outstanding but there is some disagreement understandably from some neighbors. The big winner in the B level was Stephan von Neipperg whose Canon-la-Gaffelière and La Mondotte were added and deservedly so. Also raised to B were Larcis-Ducasse, managed by Nicolas Thienpont and Stefan Derrenoncourt, and Valandraud, the original garage wine owned by Jean-Luc Thunevin. One deletion from the B class was Château Magdelaine which was folded into Belair-Monange. Since they were both B level and had the same owner, this was legal. The new classification now reads:

A

  • Cheval Blanc
  • Ausone
  • Pavie
  • Angélus

B

  • Canon-la-Gaffelière
  • La Mondotte
  • Larcis-Ducasse
  • Valandraud
  • Troplong Mondot
  • Pavie Macquin
  • Belair-Monange
  • Beau-Séjour Bécot
  • Beauséjour Duffau Lagarrosse
  • Figeac
  • Canon
  • Clos Fourtet
  • La Gaffelière
  • Trottevieille

These newbies are in stock now in limited quantities:

Château Angélus  2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

95 Wine Advocate

Château Pavie 2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

95 Wine Advocate

Château Larcis-Ducasse 2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

95 Wine Advocate

Château Valandraud 2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

95+ Wine Advocate

Château Canon-la-Gaffelière 2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

93 Wine Advocate

Château La Mondotte 2012 – St. Émilion, Bordeaux, France

95 Wine Advocate

Brad Lewis, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

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