Cru Bourgeois appellation

Cru Bourgeois classification corresponds to a distinction of Bordeaux wines of high quality. Today, the majority of wines organized in the Alliance du Medoc crus bourgeois, and in the market, the term "Cru Bourgeois" has benefited from traditional terms.

A legacy history

The notion of Crus Bourgeois back to the Middle Ages. The bourgeois were the inhabitants of the "village" of Bordeaux, merchants and craftsmen. They had under British rule rights and privileges, including exemption from the local sales (Guyenne) and export of wines from their vineyards.

In the fifteenth century, enriched by their trade activities, the burghers of Bordeaux buyers then make the best land in the region, which is given the name "Cru Bourgeois" and "Cru Bourgeois".

In 1740, a first draft shows a selection that specifies the price of wines of the Medoc. The French Revolution led to the cancellation of privileges then granted prior to Bourgeois and Bourgeois wines suffer from these major changes in society. However, as the centuries, they play an increasing role in the development of the Medoc vineyard exporting their wines. The term "Cru Bourgeois" finds its source in the customary classification prior to that distinguished nineteenth century, in the wines of the Medoc "Cru Bourgeois", the "raw artisans" and "raw peasants" according to the social status of the owner the vineyard.

In the early nineteenth century, the Crus Bourgeois are always present (about 300 castles) and their prices are already positioned at the time over those of Crus Artisans and Peasants. The publication of the 1855 classification will question this classification, which was still used in 1850 by Charles Cocks in the first French edition of its Guide to abroad in Bordeaux and the Gironde1. In 1855, the respective qualities of different Bordeaux wines have evolved. The 1855 classification is therefore always reflected in the twentieth century the historical assessment. After 1855, the authorities plan to build the existing classification and already famous, additional classes in order to incorporate some Cru Bourgeois. Based on this observation, producers and traders Medoc vineyards in 1932 proposed a new distinction will become the word "cru bourgeois" which could be optionally displayed on cylinders rewarded. At this time, it seems that there are 248 crus bourgeois listed. The work of M. Ramailla published in 1858 are 34 senior citizen, 64 and 150 Bourgeois good ordinary bourgeois.

In the early twentieth century, the Crus Bourgeois grow and occupy an important place in foreign markets, including Germany and Russia. The First World War put a stop to this brutal boom that the 1929 crisis will worsen. If the number of properties decreases, there are still many operators in the Medoc to keep alive and use the traditional "Cru Bourgeois".

In 1932, the Bordeaux brokers under the dual authority of the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Agriculture of the Gironde spend 444 Crus Bourgeois. This list filed with the ICC will never be subject to ministerial approval but will still reference for commercial use of the traditional term for more than 70 years.

In 1962, May 21, a union Crus Bourgeois Pauillac is created, it is administered by a Board of four members, Jean Nony Jean Miailhe, Philippe Cuvelier Gasqueton and Mr. Max. This union is the study and defense of the interests of owners and operators of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc. It organizes twice in 1966 and 1978, to create a ranking internal emulation within Crus Bourgeois. Both winners union came the crowning name, leading to an official classification recognized by the French State. This classification was updated in 2003, and became "The official classification of Cru Bourgeois" in the context of two arrested on 8 June 2003 Médoc appellations.

In 1979, the Community rules on labeling recognize the traditional "Cru Bourgeois" provided that its use is governed by the French State. In 1985, Cru Bourgeois is currently booming. With this, the Union created the Cup Crus Bourgeois du Medoc which will effectively increase their notoriety. This cup will be held annually until 1999 and experience a great success.

In 2000, the decree of November 30, 2000 signed by the Minister of Agriculture at the time, Mr Glavany and the Secretary of State for SMEs, crafts and consumption, François Patriat provides the organizational regulations of the Cru Bourgeois classification. It is a classification opened by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bordeaux, the Chamber of Agriculture of the Gironde and the Federation des “Grands Vins”“de Bordeaux. It aims to establish a hierarchy of merit for Cru Bourgeois wines AOC "Médoc", "Haut-Médoc", "Listrac", "Margaux", "Moulis", "Pauillac", "Saint-Estèphe "and" Saint-Julien. " The classification distinguishes three names depending on merit, Cru Bourgeois Exceptional, the Crus Bourgeois and Cru Bourgeois Superior. The ranking is determined by a jury of 18 professionals recognized in the Place de Bordeaux must consider seven criteria: the nature of the soil, the nature of the vines, caring culture, the wine, the holding and the overall presentation of the operating conditions of bottling, the consistency in the quality of the product, the reputation of the vintage and organoleptic qualities of the wine.

On 17 June 2003, a ministerial counterpart finally the first official ranking of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc châteaux which devotes 247 of 490 candidates.

The 2003 rankings resumed an internal hierarchy classification of crus bourgeois, distinguishing the "Crus bourgeois exceptional" and "Cru Bourgeois Supérieur (Superior)" distributed by:

  • Cru Bourgeois (151 properties);
  • Cru Bourgeois Supérieur wines (87 properties);
  • exceptional crus bourgeois (9 properties):
    • Château Chasse-Spleen;
    • Château Haut-Marbuzet;
    • Château Labégorce-Zédé;
    • Château Les Ormes de Pez;
    • Château de Pez;
    • Château Phélan Ségur;
    • Château Potensac;
    • Château Poujeaux;
    • Château Siran;

The crus bourgeois represented in the ranking of 2003 approximately 44% of the total production of wine in the Médoc appellations distributed according to.

This classification, which held 247 farms of 490 candidates, has given rise to controversy and some properties were not known or did not want to be included in this classification, such as the castle and the castle Gloria Sociando Mallet. Some properties excluded from classification have also brought an action for annulment, and the Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux, in a series of judgments of 27 February 2007, canceled the 2003 rankings, leaving the Alliance of crus bourgeois in uncertainty.

Some raw unclassified then denounce a lack of fairness. The expert panel was composed of 18 professionals including the President of the Union of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc at the time (according to the organization under the Ministerial Decree of 30 November 2000).

In 2007, the Administrative Court of Appeal of Bordeaux annuls the decree of 17 June 2003 approving the classification of Medoc Crus Bourgeois. The criterion: "We cannot be judge and party."

Following the cancellation of the 2003 rankings, the Alliance of Medoc Cru Bourgeois began to register a new regime, with either a classification system but on a principle of labeling, according to an annual basis. This new scheme was introduced by a decree of 2009, supplemented by a ministerial decree of the same year.

The first selection under the new regime was released in 20108 and focused on the 2008 vintage. She was awarded 243 properties which were no longer in including the most prestigious wines which previously benefited from exceptional cru bourgeois distinction, marking a form of alienation Vintners Medoc for a distinction which is particularly reflected in the number of applications : while 490 properties were candidates in 2003, 247 assignments marked, the number of candidates was more than 290 for the year 2008. There has been limited progress in the following vintages, as it stood at 304 for 2009 and 309 for 2010. Given the number of properties ultimately selected, the success rate is over 80%.

Between 2007 and 2009, thanks to an unparalleled mobilization of the Medoc wine together in the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Medoc, the traditional "Cru Bourgeois", dating back several centuries, reborn through the process of setting rigorous quality up by the union. This collective approach saves a reference while offering a guarantee of quality recognized by the government.

In 2009, approval by the government of the new quality approach: Decree of 20 October 2009 & 16 November 2009 decree allowing a qualitative selection of Crus Bourgeois du Medoc. Official Selection of the Crus Bourgeois du Medoc is published annually in September since 2010.

A great family wines assembled

The Cru Bourgeois are part of the Bordeaux wine.

Some properties existed before the establishment of the 1855 classification, and many are still around today to witness the strength of the traditional "Cru Bourgeois".

The Crus Bourgeois since 2010 are a large family gathering farms with profiles that differ from each other, located on soils varied (8 AOC prestigious Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis en Médoc, Margaux, Saint Julien, Saint-Estèphe & Pauillac), headed by men and women often from Medoc, sometimes arrived from further afield and bringing a new dynamism.

It is the strength of this beautiful family: diversity in unity. From the same region and having the same story, each operation has its own character and offers consumers its specificity.

This diversity is reflected at all levels: the wine, taste, price, reputation, marketing method, opening the wine tourism, communication, presence on social networks, etc.. The wines of this family, most of the Bordeaux region, share the same ambition. That defends the traditional "Cru Bourgeois" in a world where the sustainability of quality know-how becomes a symbol of luxury. Their price positioning as per their selection criteria, the Crus Bourgeois appear as the inevitable alternative for increasingly demanding consumers.

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