'Nightmare' of St Emilion classification finally over

  • Monday 18 May 2009

The 2006 Saint-Emilion classification, scrapped by the French Court of Appeal, has been partially reinstated.

A law passed on May 13 contained a footnote clarifying that the six chateaux promoted to Grand Cru Classe in 2006 – Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, Destieux, Fleur Cardinale, Grand Corbin, Grand Corbin Despagne and Monbousquet –would be able to keep their status with immediate effect, and date it back to the date of the classification.

The ruling also applies to the two properties which had been promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classe – Pavie Maquin and Troplong Mondot.

This means their 2006 and 2007 labels will also be able to display their classified status.

Francois Despagne of Chateau Grand Corbin Despagne, told decanter.com, ‘For us, this means the French state has finally recognised an injustice, and we can put an end to the nightmare that has lasted for ten months, since July 2008 when the 2006 classification was annulled.

'There is a lot of work ahead for the new classification, but for today this is good news.’

The current situation – 1996 classification, plus the eight chateaux promoted in 2006 – is enshrined in law until 2011, two years longer than previously thought.

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