More Bordeaux chateaux have been accepted into the Cru Bourgeois ranks for the 2012 vintage than for any year since the classification was relaunched.

The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Medoc announced today (19 September) that 267 chateaux have made it into the official selection for the 2012 vintage.

That is up from 256 estates in 2013 and is the most since the classification was reborn in 2010. The 2008 vintage was the first to be released under the new system, with 243 chateaux selected. There were 260 and 246 chateaux respectively in the critically acclaimed 2009 and 2010 vintages.

The rise in members this year may reflect the classification’s higher profile as much as the quality of the actual vintage.

Any Medoc chateau can apply for Cru Bourgeois status. Wines are blind tasted by independent experts and the selection for a particular vintage is always announced two years after harvest.

New entrants in the 2012 list include Chateau Haut Beyzac, which has 26 hectares in Vertheuil in Haut-Medoc, and Chateau Amour, an AOC Medoc estate with 53 hectares.

‘We’ve owned Chateau Amour for 30 years, and this label offers a reference of quality,’ said Georges Dadda. ‘It will make it easier to sell to merchants within Bordeaux, as well as consumers.’

Cru Bourgeois wines are generally pitched as a mid-priced Bordeaux offering, ranging from around £15 ro £25-a-bottle at retail.

One negociant in Bordeaux said Cru Bourgeois estates command higher prices than those not classified. Dadda said his ex-chateau price would rise from €3.6 to €4.4 following his selection.

In total, the 2012 vintage selection covers 4,100ha of vineyard and 29m bottles of wine.

Most estates selected are AOC Medoc and Haut-Medoc properties, but there are also several properties from Pauillac, Margaux and St Estephe, as well as Listrac-Medoc and Moulis.

Written by Chris Mercer & Jane Anson in Bordeaux