FRANCE: Cru bourgeois classification annulled
The 2003 cru bourgeois classification has been annulled by a court in Bordeaux, reverting the entire classification back to its original 1932 status.
The decision follows complaints from 79 chateaux that lost their cru bourgeois status in 2003. They had won a partial reprieve in 2004 but had pressed for a total annulment of the classification. The court agreed with the chateaux that it was not possible to change their status without a re-evaluation of the entire list.
Almost 200 chateaux eliminated in the 2003 revision will again be allowed to call their wines "Cru Bourgeois". Chateaux designated 'Exceptionnel' or 'Supérieur', including Ormes de Pez, will lose the right to this distinction.
Bernard Magrez, who owns two cru bourgeois properties, was sanguine about the ruling.
Magrez said the fact that there were chateaux owners on the jury that drew up the 2003 classification was "absurd".
However, he added: "At the end of the day, this ranking doesn't mean anything to a consumer - it's the name and reputation of the chateaux that is most important."
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