Education
25 July 2016

Making It Easy: Understanding Cru Bourgeois

 In 1855, 61 Chateau were classified into the top five “Growths" out of over 3,000 Bordeaux growers.

Yet, so many great Bordeaux wines were still in need of a ranking. Thus, the Cru Bourgeois category in the appellation of Medoc was created in order to help customers identify more top quality wines from the Bordeaux region.

Last month, the Alliance de Cru Bourgeois voted to change classification into a two tier system, Cru Bourgeois and Cru Bourgeois Superieur. The new classification should be implemented when the 2014 vintage arrives overseas in 2016, just months away! Once the producer wins the title, it will hold for only five years before it is re-tasted and judged again. This is unlike the 1855 Classification where the 61 Chateau have kept their rankings without further review.All these Medoc wines are Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot based.

They’re never too candy-like or filled with excessive alcohol; they’re balanced and designed to highlight the foods you’re enjoying.It’s been said that wine is food and Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux is a drink you can enjoy every night of the week. The great Bordeaux wines listed in the 1855 classification are for special occasions. The excellent Grand Crus of Saint-Emilion are for another occasion - great wines for weddings and anniversaries. But, the Cru Bourgeois wines should be considered best buys when you compare the quality to their price.These are wines to savor every evening.The 2012 vintage produced about 29 million bottles of Cru Bourgeois so there are plenty of high quality Cru Bourgeois wines to discover!

For example, Chateau Griviere is 60% Merlot and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It costs about $18 and is perfect with barbecued chicken, making a simple dinner something special.

Chateau Greysac, at approximately $22, is filled with black currant notes, common to the French nose, but to North Americans it’s a mix of blackberry and cherry aromas. It has lingering spice and pairs with any meat dish. It is usually 65% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Cabernet Franc, which adds a rose petal scent to its aroma.

Another really classy Cru Bourgeois to try is Chateau Tour Séran. It pairs with pasta, veal and even grilled salmon. Costing about $35, it’s made with Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, with decreasing amounts of each grape in that order.

Image via Wine Searcher

Look for the words, Cru Bourgeois or Cru Bourgeois Superieur on the label, under the name of the Chateau, then enjoy them with any meal or on their own.

À la vôtre. 

Learn more

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