The 2009 Cru Bourgeois listing has been announced - and at the same time officials are deciding whether to tweak the system, now in its second year.
For the 2009 vintage, 246 chateaux have been listed officially Cru Bourgeois, out of 304 that applied.
The final list includes 19 properties from St Estephe, five in Pauillac, nine in Margaux, 16 Moulis, 13 Listrac, 85 Haut Medoc and 99 Medoc.
This year properties submitted considerably more bottles for inspection than in the 2008 vintage: 32m as opposed to 25m last year, Frederique de Lamothe, director of the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Medoc, told Decanter.com at a tasting in London yesterday.
This is a reflection on the quality of the vintage, she said. Under the new rules for selection, which were ratified in time for the assessment of the 2008 vintage, properties may submit several samples corresponding to what they consider minimum and maximum levels of quality for Cru Bourgeois.
The samples are tasted blind by a panel in order to set benchmarks against which all wines are then judged.
De Lamothe said she had ‘confidence’ in the listing, noting that officials in St Emilion – whose own classification has been mired in controversy – had been in touch with Bureau Veritas, the independent body which monitors the selection process.
She also said within the Alliance they had discussed informally whether changes could be made to the system.
A new upper tier may be added, along the lines of the former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel tier. The current listing is flat: properties simply have the right to label themselves Cru Bourgeois.
The idea of assessing properties every three or four years, instead of annually, has also been mooted.
These discussions were no more than ‘internal reflections’, de Lamothe stressed, and nothing had been put to the members of the Alliance.
Written by Adam Lechmere