Wine News

1855 Classification of Bordeaux

Emperor Napoleon IIIThe Emperor Napoleon III requested a classification system for France's best Bordeaux wines which were to be on display at the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1855. The exhibition was to showcase the best of all that was France, and brokers from the wine industry ranked the wines according to a château's reputation and trading price. In their view, the market (which was mainly British) had already determined which Bordeaux wines were best, and the classifications needed to reflect the market's judgement. The result was the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Although intended as a listing for the show, and nothing more than that, the Classification stuck fast and now appears to be with us for the rest of eternity. After 150 odd years the Classification is to some degree out of date and is hotly disputed. However it has become an essential backdrop to the world of fine wines produced in Bordeaux and is a useful reference point. It still dictates price and we all use it, whether we want to or not.

Chateau Haut BrionThe wines were ranked in importance from First Growths (Premier Cru) to Fifth Growths. All of the red wines that made it on the list came from the Médoc except for one: Château Haut Brion from Graves. The white wines, were considered to be of much less importance than red wine, were limited to the sweet varieties of Sauternes and Barsac and were ranked only from First Great Growth (Premier Cru Supérieur) to Second Growth.

The Classification included the top wines of the Médoc and one from the Graves latour.jpgregion: Chateau Haut Brion. The Classification has remained unchanged apart from the elevation of Chateau Mouton Rothschild in 1973 from Second Growth to First Growth status.

The Classification

LatourPremier Grand Cru Classé - (First Growths)
  • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Latour (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Margaux (Margaux)
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac) Elevated in 1973
  • Chateau Haut Brion (Pessac Leognan)
Pichon LalandeDeuxieme Grand Cru Classé - (Second Growths)
  • Chateau Brane Cantenac (Margaux)
  • Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Saint-Estephe)
  • Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Durfort Viviens (Margaux)
  • Chateau Gruaud Larose (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Lascombes (Margaux)
  • Chateau Leoville Barton (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Leoville Las Cases (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Leoville Poyferré (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Montrose (Saint Estephe)
  • Chateau Pichon Lalande (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Pichon Longueville Baron (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Rauzan Segla (Margaux)
  • Chateau Rauzan Gassies (Margaux)
GiscoursTroisieme Grands Cru Classé - (Third Growths)
  • Chateau Boyd Cantenac (Margaux)
  • Chateau Calon Segur (Saint-Estephe)
  • Chateau Cantenac Brown (Margaux)
  • Chateau Desmirail (Margaux)
  • Chateau Ferriere (Margaux)
  • Chateau Giscours (Margaux)
  • Chateau d'Issan (Margaux)
  • Chateau Kirwan (Margaux)
  • Chateau Lagrange (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau La Lagune (Haut Médoc)
  • Chateau Langoa Barton (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Malescot Saint Exupery (Margaux)
  • Chateau Marquis d'Alesme Becker (Margaux)
  • Chateau Palmer (Margaux)
Saint PierreQuatrieme Grand Cru Classé - (Fourth Great Growths)
  • Chateau Beychevelle (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Branaire Ducru (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Duhart Milon (Pauillac)
  • Chateau La Tour Carnet (Haut Médoc)
  • Chateau Lafon Rochet (Saint Estephe)
  • Chateau Marquis de Terme (Margaux)
  • Chateau Pouget (Cantenac-Margaux)
  • Chateau Prieure Lichine (Margaux)
  • Chateau Saint Pierre (Saint Julien)
  • Chateau Talbot (Saint Julien)
Du TertreCinquieme Grand Cru Classé - (Fifth Great Growths)
  • Chateau Batailley (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Belgrave (Haut Médoc)
  • Chateau Camensac (Haut Médoc)
  • Chateau Cantermerle (Haut Médoc)
  • Chateau Clerc Milon (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Cos Labory (Saint Estephe)
  • Chateau Croizet Bages (Pauillac)
  • Chateau d'Armailhac (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Dauzac Labarde (Margaux)
  • Chateau Grand Puy Ducasse (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Grand Puy Lacoste (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Haut Bages Liberal (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Haut Batailley (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Lynch Bages (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Lynch Moussas (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Pedesclaux (Pauillac)
  • Chateau Pontet Canet (Pauillac)