Bordeaux’s administrative court of appeal has effectively validated the St-Emilion 2012 Classification after rejecting long-standing complaints from three châteaux.
France’s national appellation body, INAO, said the decision upholds an original court ruling from 2015. It added the complainants still have two months in which to appeal the judgement, however.
Legal challenges to the St-Emilion 2012 Classification have been a feature of the past decade in Bordeaux.
INAO said it was ‘reassured’ by the latest appeal court ruling.
It said it is pressing ahead with work on the 2022 edition of the ranking system, which was conceived in the 1950s and is revised every 10 years.
Separately, however, the upcoming St-Emilion 2022 Classification process has been hit by high-profile withdrawals.
Châteaux Angélus, Cheval Blanc and Ausone have all independently said that they do not wish to be part of the process for the new ranking.
They represent three of the four ‘Premier Grand Cru Classé A’ estates from 2012, when Angélus and Château Pavie were promoted to join Cheval Blanc and Ausone at the top of the hierarchy.
St-Emilion’s Wine Council has said it regrets the withdrawals but it defended the process for the 2022 Classification.