Cru bourgeois awarded to 246 properties for 2009 vintage

Published by Sally on September 27, 2011

Frédéric de Luze

Frédéric de Luze

In its second year, the annual awarding of cru bourgeois status has been achieved by 246 left bank Bordeaux properties for their 2009 vintage.  This is three up on the 2008 vintage.

The numbers involved for the 2009 vintage were not too dissimilar from 2008. Just 5% more properties applied for the cru bourgeois moniker for their 2009 wines, but the success rate was 3% lower than for the 2008 vintage.  Some 218 Châteaux have achieved cru bourgeois status for both their 2008 and 2009 vintages, with plenty of new entrants in 2009, as well as properties not in it for this year.

Frédéric de Luze, the president of the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois and owner of Chateau Paveil de Luze in Margaux said it’s been “a very positive year, and constructive. We feel all the châteaux owners are happy, it’s a good opportunity, and they are still happy to be cru bourgeois. They’re still proud of cru bourgeois, which is quite difficult to get.”

With some 32 million bottles being marketed under the cru bourgeois name, de Luze added “this makes cru bourgeois the strongest force in Bordeaux, as a club of producers.”

To take account of vintage variation, the minimum benchmark for entry to cru bourgeois status is “to make a better vintage than the average [quality] of the vintage” explained François Nony, of Château Caronne Ste Gemme, and vice president of the alliance.  He added “In Médoc 2,000 estates could apply. Most don’t apply because technically they can’t” because they don’t (yet?) have a proper cellar or vat room, or don’t have the necessary land associated with the entry requirements for cru bourgeois.

One of Nony’s criticisms of the previous cru bourgeois system was that 100% of a property’s wines were classified as cru bourgeois.  With the new system, for the 2008 vintage, he said “about two-thirds of [a chateau’s] production was cru bourgeois. The other third was declassified as a second wine” and is not therefore in the cru bourgeois system.

Something new for next year may be cru bourgeois tiers, which is being studied, though de Luze said “it’s a bit in advance to talk too much about it.  The châteaux would like it because it’s a sort of competition.”

The price:quality ratio of cru bourgeois was also emphasised, with the implication that cru bourgeois might become the new crus classés for ordinary mortals. Nony said “my wine, Caronne Ste Gemme is still selling at the same price as in 1997.  We know we have to fight to keep our customers.”  On this point de Luze added “in 1985 Paveil was half the price of Ducru Beaucaillou, now it’s about a tenth.” Given that prices of cru bourgeois, in the UK at least, range from around £10 to £25, this may be a marketing angle to explore.

Ins and outs

Châteaux choose whether to enter the exam, so reasons for ins and outs could be (a) improvement in quality (b) first application in 2009, (c) loss of quality (d) not entering in 2009, having been awarded 2008.  Consistent patterns of membership will only emerge over time, and that is what should become the hallmark of cru bourgeois.

New in 2009

  1. Château Blaignan, Médoc
  2. Château d’Argan, Médoc
  3. Château Gemeillan, Médoc
  4. Château La Chandelliere, Médoc
  5. Château La Gorre, Médoc
  6. Château La Grange De Bessan, Médoc
  7. Château Les Trois Manoirs, Médoc
  8. Château Livran, Médoc
  9. Château Loirac, Médoc
  10. Château Plagnac, Médoc
  11. Château Saint Aubin, Médoc
  12. Château Tour Saint-Vincent, Médoc
  13. Château Bel-Orme Tronquoy De Lalande, Haut-Médoc
  14. Château Corconnac, Haut-Médoc
  15. Château de Sainte-Gemme, Haut-Médoc
  16. Château Dillon, Haut-Médoc
  17. Château du Galan, Haut-Médoc
  18. Château Peyredon Lagravette, Haut-Médoc
  19. Château Puy Castera, Haut-Médoc
  20. Château Tourteran, Haut-Médoc
  21. Clos la Boheme, Haut-Médoc
  22. Domaine de Cartujac, Haut-Médoc
  23. Château Lalande, Listrac-Médoc
  24. Château Caroline, Moulis en Médoc
  25. Château Duplessis, Moulis en Médoc
  26. Château Gressier Grand Poujeaux, Moulis en Médoc
  27. Château Moulin A Vent, Moulis en Médoc
  28. Château Vieux Coutelin, Saint-Estèphe

Out in 2009

  1. Château Fontaine de l’Aubier, Médoc
  2. Château Grand Bertin de Saint Clair, Médoc
  3. Château Hourbanon, Médoc
  4. Château Laffitte Laujac, Médoc
  5. Château le Barrail, Médoc
  6. Château l’Inclassable, Médoc
  7. Château Listran, Médoc
  8. Château Moulin de Brion, Médoc
  9. Château Moulin de Cassy, Médoc
  10. Château Charmail, Haut-Médoc
  11. Château Haut Madrac, Haut-Médoc
  12. Château Lamothe Cissac, Haut-Médoc
  13. Château Larrivaux, Haut-Médoc
  14. Château Maucaillou Felletin, Haut-Médoc
  15. Château Moulin de Laborde, Haut-Médoc
  16. Château Grand Tayac, Margaux
  17. Château la Galiane, Margaux
  18. Château le Coteau, Margaux
  19. Château Tayac, Margaux
  20. Château du Glana, St. Julien
  21. Château Lalande, St. Julien
  22. Château Bel Air, Saint-Estèphe
  23. Château Domeyne, Saint-Estèphe
  24. Château Segur de Cabanac, Saint-Estèphe
  25. Château Tour de Pez, Saint-Estèphe


2 Responses to “Cru bourgeois awarded to 246 properties for 2009 vintage”

  1. rita hirsch Says:

    What does cry bourgeois mean?

  2. Sally Says:

    Crus Bourgeois dates to the middle ages. The bourgeois were residents of the bourg of Bordeaux – a town comprised of merchants and artisans. The grew wealthy on trade, so by 15th century these ‘bourgeois’ had bought some of the best land in the region. These lands were referred to as the ‘crus bourgeois’. Some of these lands had vineyards. Over time these merchants played an important role developing Bordeaux’s left bank vineyards on international markets.
    Source for this information: press kit from Alliance des Crus Bourgeois

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