A group of former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels are boycotting the new Alliance Cru Bourgeois system, and forming their own group.
The members of the group include Chateau Chasse Spleen, Chateau Les Ormes de Pez, Chateau de Pez, Chateau Potensac, Chateau Poujeaux and Chateau Siran.
Chateau Labegorce-Zede has merged with Chateau Labegorce and is not eligible to join, but older vintages of the wine will be included in certain tastings.
Christophe Labenne, co-director of Chateau Poujeaux, told decanter.com, ‘This is a group that was originally formed in 2003, when we were first named Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels.
‘When the classification was cancelled, we waited to see when things would become clearer, but they never really did, so we decided to work together again.’
The group, which will be known as Les Exceptionnels, was formally revived in December 2009, just after the final form of the new Alliance was revealed.
It will have a purely marketing function, organising tastings and other events. The first of these is planned for VinExpo Hong Kong.
Two other former Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels will not join – Chateau Phelan Segur and Chateau Haut Marbuzet.
Phelan Segur’s owner Thierry Gardinier is also director of the Alliance Cru Bourgeois and has remained within the official grouping.
Haut Marbuzet will remain outside both the Alliance and the new group and will run all its own marketing.
Edouard Miahle, owner of Chateau Siran, is current president of Les Exceptionnels, with the role to be rotated between all members.
Speaking at the launch of the new Alliance Cru Bourgeois, Thierry Gardinier said, ‘I understand that the Exceptionnels might want to see how the new association works out, but we hope they will want to join us in a few years.’
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux