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1855 Classification of Bordeaux Wine – Sauternes & Barsac

Emperor Napolen IIISauternes wines were classified in the 1855 Classification of Bordeaux wines ordered by the Emperor Napoleon III for the exhibition Exposition Universelle de Paris to showcase the best of all that was France. Brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price. In their view, the market had already determined which Bordeaux wines were best, and the classifications needed to reflect the market's judgement.

Thomas Jefferson had done much to promote the wines of Sauternes and some researchers consider his influence was responsible for many of the wines being included in the 1855 Classification. Up until 1917 Russia had been the main importer of Sauternes as they were popular at Court with the Tsar. Indeed, in 1859, the Grand Duke Constantin Nicolaievitch, brother of the Tsar, visited the vineyards of Bordeaux and tasted there an Yquem 1847 and bought a barrel for 20,000 gold franks.

YquemSauternes was the only wine area outside the Médoc to be included in the Classification– apart from Chateau Haut Brion (in Graves at the time but since 1987 it has been known as the Pessac-Leognan appellation). Eleven châteaux were classified as Premier Cru, fifteen as Deuxième Cru, whereas to the top of the classification of Sauternes, was created a special denomination of Premier Grand Cru exclusively reserved to the famous Château d'Yquem: a unique case in all Bordeaux.

YquemSauternes consists of 5 communes, Barsac, Sauternes, Bommes, Fargues and Preignac. While all 5 communes are permitted to use the name Sauternes, the Barsac region is also permitted to label their wines under the Barsac appellation.

The Classification

Premier Cru Superieur
  • Chateau d'Yquem (Sauternes)

ClimensPremier Crus
  • Chateau Climens (Barsac)
  • Chateau Clos Haut Peyraguey (Bommes)
  • Chateau Coutet (Barsac)
  • Chateau de Suduirat (Preignac)
  • Chateau Guiraud (Sauternes)
  • Chateau La Tour Blanche (Bommes)
  • Chateau Lafaurie Peyraguey (Bommes)
  • Chateau Rabuad Promis (Bommes)
  • Chateau Rayne Vigneau (Bommes)
  • Chateau Rieussec (Fargues de Langon)
  • Chateau Siglas Rabaud (Bommes)
MalleSeconds Crus
  • Chateau Broustet (Barsac)
  • Chateau Caillou (Barsac)
  • Chateau d'Arche (Sauternes)
  • Chateau de Malle (Preignac)
  • Chateau de Nairac (Barsac)
  • Chateau Doisy Daene (Barsac)
  • Chateau Doisy Dubroca (Barsac)
  • Chateau Doisy Vedrines (Barsac)
  • Chateau Filhot (Sauternes)
  • Chateau Lamothe Despujols (Sauternes)
  • Chateau Lamothe Guignard (Sauternes)
  • Chateau Myrat (Barsac)
  • Chateau Romer (Fargues de Langon)
  • Chateau Romer du Hayot (Fargues de Langon)
  • Chateau Suau (Barsac)