With the incredible number of châteaux producing wines in Bordeaux, how do you know how to select a good bottle?
Sure, you can pick one from one of the five growths of the 1855 Classification – a ranking of Bordeaux’s best wines as requested by Emperor Napoleon III for the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris.
However, a lot has changed since 1855. So you may want to opt for something that has kept up with the times (not to mention that is also a lot easier than pulling up the list of classified estates).
When selecting a Bordeaux wine, look for Cru Bourgeois.
Cru Bourgeois du Médoc wines have met the strict quality selection procedure of the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois. This union was created in 1962 to study, defend and promote the interests of the owners and producers in the Médoc area. The term dates back to the 15th century, when the bourgeois (merchants) of Bordeaux were able to acquire the finest properties in the region.
“We use an external and independent verification body – Bureau Veritas – to supervise every stage of the process to ensure quality standards and impartiality at every stage,” explained Crus Bourgeois du Médoc Director Frederique de Lamothe via email.
“Since 2008, each vintage is tasted blind by external professionals and evaluated before being sold, making the ‘Cru Bourgeois’ quality approach unique and a benchmark for Bordeaux and the rest of France.”
Cru Bourgeois wines are easy to spot, thanks to an authentication sticker affixed to each bottle since the 2010 vintage.
“This sticker not only guarantees quality, but also that the wine is representative of its specific terroir and appellation,” said Mr. de Lamothe. “The sticker also has a QR code that allows easy and immediate access to that particular château’s technical information on the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc website.”
The wines come from the famous sub-appellations on Bordeaux’s Left Bank: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Medoc, Moulis en Medoc, Margaux, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe. They’re made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The wines in the Crus Bourgeois de Medoc offer variety, both in taste and price. Bottles range from $20 to $50, with the average price of a bottle currently at $25.50.
For more information on Crus Bourgeois du Medoc including member châteaux visit www.crus-bourgeois.com.