Wine classifications are a means of categorizing and describing different wines based on how they’re made, where they’re made, and the quality of the wine you’re about to enjoy. While every country has its own classification system, most people are more familiar with the French wine classification as some of the most incredible wines are produced in Burgundy (France)
What is Cru and their differences?
Red Burgundy wines are classified based on their cru, which means “growth” and the wine classification indicates that the wine has been legally verified as a product of Burgundy. There are four quality categories in the Burgundy classification system for white and red wines, with Grand Cru at the top of the pyramid, followed by Premier Cru, the “village” wines, and the generic Bourgogne category at the bottom.
Grands Crus appellations are the “elite” of Burgundy wines and there are only 33 grands crus in France. Grand Cru status is only granted to small areas or vineyards (less that 1% of the total production in Burgundy) and it is jealously preserved and coveted. They refer to the quality of a particular vineyard and the terroir in which the grapes grow. It is the highest and most well-respected wine classification within the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC).
Wine labeled with Premier Cru is just a notch below Grand Cru wine. This wine is still highly coveted and the vineyards bestowed with the lavish title are among the best in the world.
What about Grand Cru Classe?
As of 1855 Bordeaux Wine Official Classification by the declaration of Emperor Napoleon III , a list of the top ranked wines, named the Grand Crus Classés (Great Classified Growths) was introduced to carry a mark of high prestige, tied to a specific chateau or estate, rather than a contiguous vineyard.
Within the Grand Cru Classé list, wines were further ranked and placed in one of five divisions. This classification has never been revised except in 1973, when Château Mouton Rothschild was promoted from Second Grand Cru to Premier Grand Cru.
The best of the best wines were assigned the highest rank; only four wines – Château Latour, Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Margaux and Château Haut-Brion were deemed worthy.
Have you tried any of these four wines? If yes, what is your verdict and do they deserve such high acclamation?
Our Wine Coterie (OWC) private membership follows the Cru wine classification, with Grand Cru Classe as our highest tier with the best exclusive privilege and benefits OWC can offers. Do join us to enjoy an unparalleled fine wine experiences.