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All podcast music: “Café connection” by morgantj / CC BY 3.0, ©2009 – Licensed under Creative Commons 
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May 11, 2021

After a few conversations, it became clear that M.C. Ice has been very confused about the differences between classification systems in France. Isn't Bordeaux the same as Burgundy? What’s the terminology -- it's it Premier Cru? Grand Cru? What exactly is each place ranking? And why do they do it at all?

In this show we get in the weeds on the five classifications of Bordeaux (read the Wine For Normal People book or listen to Ep 59 and 60 to get up to speed on Bordeaux before attempting this!). We talk about their history, what they aimed to achieve and the criteria each use. We try to clear up what each is ranking, how they are ranked and why it all matters. MC Ice was clear by the end, we hope you are too!


Here are the classifications of Bordeaux mentioned in the show:

1855 Classification (with Sauternes and Barsac):

The terminology for each level is “Cru”, there are five levels:

  • First-Growths / Premières Crus
  • Second-Growths / Deuxièmes Crus
  • Third-Growths / Troisièmes Crus
  • Fourth-Growths / Quatrièmes Crus
  • Fifth-Growths / Cinquièmes Crus
  • Sauternes and Barsac have first and second growths, and Château d’Yquem is a Great First-Growth / Grand Premier Cru


And the 1961 Proposed classification


Graves Classification

  • Grand Cru Classé de Graves


St Émilion Classification

  • Premier Grand Cru Classé 'A'  
  • Premier Grand Cru Classé 'B'
  • Grand Cru Classé
  • St Émilion Grand Cru



Cru Bourgeois

  • Crus Bourgeois
  • Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs
  • Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels


Cru Artisan Classification (only Médoc)



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