Bordeaux region is very famous all over the world for the big and complex classification of its wine. A classification that represents a sort of guarantee with regard to the origins and the quality of the wine.
(Let me open a parenthesis here just to say that this is only in part correct, because a classification can really guarantee the origin of a wine’s production; experience teaches us that these indications should not be considered as absolute and indisputable meaning of quality. Quality is a concept and a requirement which is achieved mainly thanks to the seriousness and the integrity of each single producer and, above all, thanks to the rispect of the environment and the production conditions of the place where he operates. So, in same case, we can only confirm the quality of the wine by tasting it).
The simple word “Bordeaux” makes us think about château, cru and terroir (terms now adopted by other countries all over the world). But we cannot describe its wine only with these words.
We need to know and understand the way Bordeaux classifies its wine.
The first and most famous classification system adopted in Bordeaux was established in 1855 and concerns exclusively the wines produced in the Médoc area. The system, which simply takes the name of “classification of 1855”, is based on the quality of the producers and not on the production area, a concept that could contrast with the principle of terroir so dear to the Bordolese.
The system is not homogeneous for the whole region infact, the terms used for the classification of wines take on different meanings depending on the area in which they are used.
The wine is classified in Cru Classé and in categories ranging from the first to the fifth.
The Premier Cru is the first and most important category of the system, followed by the Duexième Cru, Troisième Cru, Quartième Cru and Cinquième Cru which is the last category of the system. This classification is currently used for 60 châteaux in Médoc and one in Grave.