The new St Emilion classification has still not been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, almost three months after being submitted
St Emilion: disagreement?
The appellations body, the INAO, expected confirmation by the end of April, Jean-François Quenin, owner of Chateau de Pressac and president of the Saint Emilion wine council, told Decanter.com.
‘We are still waiting for the publication in the Journal Officiel de la République Française.’
Some local commentators believe that, despite over three years of work on the new regulations, there are still several important disagreements over the scope of the classification
Many chateaux would prefer simply to maintain the status quo and allow the current ranking – the 2006 classification plus all the declassified chateaux from that year – to remain in place.
As well as this there is pressure to bring classified estates in line with their Medoc counterparts by allowing the incorporation of newly-purchased plots of land without penalties.
In the Medoc, the chateau itself is classified, while in Saint Emilion, it is the land and terroir that receives the ranking.
‘This means that we are severely penalised commercially,’ Yannick Evenou, director of Chateau la Dominique in Saint Emilion said
‘We have 23ha in La Dominque, with an extra five that are directly touching, on the same type of soils, but that we can’t include in the classified wine.
‘The rigidity of the Saint Emilion system is an error, and while it continues, the gap between Left and Right Bank properties will simply get wider.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux