Demoted St-Emilion chateaux return to 2006 classification

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  • Monday 22 December 2008

The French Senate has allowed the eight St-Emilion chateaux demoted in the region’s classification to return to their 2006 status.

As part of a finance law amendment being passed by the French government today, the eight properties will regain their status in the (currently defunct) 2006 classification.

Chateaux Pavie-Macquin and Troplong-Mondot will return to Premier Grand Cru Classes, while chateaux Bellefond-Belcier, Destieux, Fleur-Cardinale, Grand Corbin, Grand Corbin-Despagne, and Monbousquet become Grand Cru Classes.

The wines were demoted earlier this year following a legal wrangle when the classification was ruled invalid, and French government readopted the 1996 classification.

The modified law reinstating the eight properties follows months of lobbying – the owners of the demoted chateaux claiming significant losses in revenue. According to regional newspaper Sud-Ouest, a Grand Cru Classe can command 30% higher prices than a Grand Cru.

‘With that decision [the removal of the 2006 classification] 10 years of work was reduced to nothing,’ said Francois Despagne, owner of Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne.

The amendment is expected to be passed by the French parliament this afternoon.

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