Saint Émilion Classification System 2012

chateau dassault sign



The vineyards of Saint Émilion on the Bordeaux right bank were first classified in 1955. However one of the key differences to the vineyards in the Médoc on the left bank (which were classified in 1855), is that the St Émilion classification is revised on a regular basis - about every 10 years.

In 2006 a new classification was announced but then suspended after a series of court appeals by four chateaux that had been demoted.

On September 7th 2012 a new classification system was announced. After all of the legal fuss, all but one of the chateaux demoted in 2006 were reinstated. (Chateau de la Tour du Pin Figeac was the exception). The Saint Emilion wine council claimed that it was the result of an improvement in quality in subsequent vintages and has stood by the independence and transparency of the classification system.

Several properties have "disappeared" because their wine production has been absorbed into neighbouring/sister chateaux.

In all there are 82 properties (an increase from the 74 of the last system) - 18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés and 64 Grands Crus Classés. Again the Saint Émilion wine council says this is a result of improved consistency and quality across the appellation.

Over two hundred other Saint-Émilion wines carry the description "Grand Cru", however this designation is awarded under the basic appellation rules and is below the quality level of the 2012 classification. Nevertheless, the basic Grand Cru wines and indeed basic St Émillion, can still offer very good quality and value for money, especially in good years where excellent quality is found across the region. The classification system aims to categorise the very best wines produced in Saint Émilion.

The French government organisation INAO (Institut National des Appelations d'Origines )supervises this and other classification systems for wine and other agricultural products The INAO set up an independent process to try and ensure transparency and avoid accusations of favouritism or conflicts of interest. A jury of experts was set up to judge the wines via a series of tastings - they comprised of seven wine professionals, all members or former members of the INAO and all from outside the Bordeaux region. Chateaux were judged on their terroir, renown, methods of vineyard and cellar work and through a blind tasting of ten vintages (15 for Premier Grand Crus). 
To become Grand Cru Classé, chateaux had to score at least 14 out of 20, to become Premier Grand Cru Classé, at least 16 out of 20. Within Premier Grand Cru Classé is the sub-designation Premier Grand Cru Classé A and Premier Grand Cru Classé B.

INAO also brought in two independent bodies to ensure the application process and tastings were as rigorous as possible.  The Ministry of Agriculture now has to formal recognise the classification.

There are two new Premiers Grands Crus Classés A estates – with Chateau Pavie and Angelus joining Ausone and Cheval Blanc. One property, Chateau La Valandraut, has been promoted straight to Premier Grand Cru Classé B without passing first to Grand Cru Classé. Chateau Mondotte has also vaulted straight to Premier Grand Cru Classé from its previous classification AOC Saint Emilion. Larcis Ducasse and Canon La Gaffeliere also moved to Premier Cru Classé. The market would probably agree to these moves as the prices of the wines generally are already reflected in the new classification. 17 of the Grand Cru Classé wines were added to that classification. Only 3 were demoted from Grand Cru Classé.




rooftops saint emilion

Premiers Grands Crus Classés (A)
Château Angélus 
Château Ausone 
Château Cheval Blanc 
Château Pavie 

Premiers Grands Crus Classés (B)
Château Beauséjour 
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot
Château Bélair-Monange
Château Canon
Château Canon la Gaffelière
Château Figeac
Clos Fourtet
Château la Gaffelière
Château Larcis Ducasse
vineyard chateau dassualtLa Mondotte
Château Pavie Macquin
Château Troplong Mondot
Château Trottevieille
Château Valandraud

Grands Crus Classés 
Château l’Arrosée
Château Balestard la Tonnelle
Château Barde-Haut
Château Bellefont-Belcier
Château Bellevue
Château Berliquet
Château Cadet-Bon
Château Capdemourlin
Château le Chatelet
Château Chauvin
Château Clos de Sarpe
drinking red wineChâteau la Clotte
Château la Commanderie
Château Corbin
Château Côte de Baleau
Château la Couspaude
Château Dassault
Château Destieux 
Château la Dominique
Château Faugères
Château Faurie de Souchard
Château de Ferrand
Château Fleur Cardinale
Château La Fleur Morange
Château Fombrauge
Château Fonplégade
Château Fonroque
Château Franc Mayne
Château Grand Corbin
alleyways and vineyards saint emilionChâteau Grand Corbin-Despagne
Château Grand Mayne
Château les Grandes Murailles
Château Grand-Pontet
Château Guadet
Château Haut-Sarpe
Clos des Jacobins
Couvent des Jacobins 
Château Jean Faure
Château Laniot
Château Laroque
Château Laroze
Clos la Madeleine 
Château la Marzelle
Château Monbousquet
Château Moulin du Cadet
Clos de l’Oratoire
wine shop in st emilion
Château Pavie Decesse
Château Peby Faugères
Château Petit Faurie de Soutard
Château de Pressac
Château le Prieuré
Château Quinault l’Enclos
Château Ripeau
Château Rochebelle
Château Saint-Georges-Cote-Pavie
Clos Saint-Martin
Château Sansonnet
Château la Serre
Château Soutard
Château Tertre Daugay (Quintus)
Château la Tour Figeac
Château Villemaurine
Château Yon-Figeac

chateau dassault label and bottle shotDiscoverVin currently stocks 3 wines from St Émilion from different classification levels...

Chateau Dassault 2006 Grand Cru Classé classification retained in 2012. A wine of great power but finesse. 

Chateau Petit Figeac 2007 Grand Cru- an interesting property formerly part of Figeac and adjacent to Cheval Blanc producing great value wines

Chateau Lagarde 2009 St Émilion- a property renewed after a change of ownership and providing a great entry level St Émilion from a great year







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