New St Emilion Classification 2012 focus changed from terroir to price

The focus of the classification has changed. In the past it was one of the only Bordeaux classifications to be based on terroir, now it is based on price (like everything else) ……

Summarised aptly by Stephane Derenoncourt;

“Saint-Émilion était la seule appellation où les crus étaient classés en fonction
des terroirs, maintenant on a l’impression que c’est très inspiré du 1855. »

Total of  82 Saint Emilion properties have been classified (out of 96 applications); 18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés and 64 Grands Crus Classés(the highest number since the second classification in 1969 when there were 84) compared to the eventual 74 in 2006. See list below.

The key facts about the new classification (released 6 september)

  • Angelus and Pavie were promoted to the highest Premier Cru Classé A alongside Ausone and Cheval Blanc – not Figeac despite a life-long battle by Thierry Manoncourt and continued by his son-in-law Eric d’Aramon. Both Angelus and Pavie command the highest prices, but considerably below the original two A holders). Figeac is some way behind in terms of price (currently the 2005 vintage in France pr bottle is around 100€ for Figeac, 300€ for Angelus and Pavie and 1600€ minimum for Ausone – Both properties produce wines that are rich and powerful and do not have the finesse of thoroughbred Ausone or Cheval Blanc. Alain Vauthier of Ausone refuses to comment on his new stable mates (not quite the same pedigree)…..
  • Demoted – Only two château, Corbin-Michotte and la Tour du Pin Figeac (originally declassified in 2006 and reinstated automatically afterwards) were not reinstated. (Since 2006 Moeuix also own part of the original La Tour du Pin Figeac but call it La Tour du Pin but did not apply for it to be classified)
  • (Several châteaux have merged so created confusion – La Magdelaine into Belair-Monange, Curé-Bon into Canon, la Clusière into Pavie, Cadet-Piola into Soutard, Bergat into Trottevielle, Matras into Canon, Haut Corbin into Grand Corbin – both applications to be premier were excepted).
  • A total of twenty two properties were upgraded and apparently only an additional dozen or so properties’ applications were refused to be upgraded or classified at the Grand Cru Classé level such as the organic Croque-Michotte – originally declassified in 1996, rejected again in 2006 it was its owner Pierre Carl who spear-headed the campaign which ended in the cancellation of the classification (eventually reinstated).
  • 17 properties were upgraded to Premier with no real surprises apart the leap-frogging of two micro-cuvées; garage wine Château Valandraud (Thunevin) and la Mondotte (von Neipperg), not classified at all previously
  • All the rest were expected including Larcis Ducasse (Nicolas Thienpont and Stephane Derenoncourt), de Ferrande, Canon La Gaffeliere (von Neipperg again), Faugères, Peby Faugères (Silvio Denz) and Fombrauge (all 60 ha! makes Magrez and even richer man). La Fleur Morange from the previously unclassified commune of St Pey d’Armens (on the road to Castillon) is an unexpected addition but worthy.
  • Another disappointed person must include Clement Fayat whose property, Château La Dominique is neighbours to Cheval Blanc stays as Grand Cru Classé and not Premier.


Premiers Grands Crus Classés
Château Angélus (A)
Château Ausone (A)
Château Beauséjour (héritiers Duffau-Lagarrosse)
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot
Château Bélair-Monange
Château Canon
Château Canon la Gaffelière
Château Cheval Blanc (A)
Château Figeac
Clos Fourtet
Château la Gaffelière
Château Larcis Ducasse
La Mondotte
Château Pavie (A)

Château Pavie Macquin
Château Troplong Mondot
Château Trottevieille
Château Valandraud

Grands Crus Classés
Château l’Arrosée
Château Balestard la Tonnelle
Château Barde-Haut
Château Bellefont-Belcier
Château Bellevue
Château Berliquet
Château Cadet-Bon
Château Capdemourlin
Château le Chatelet
Château Chauvin
Château Clos de Sarpe
Château la Clotte
Château la Commanderie
Château Corbin
Château Côte de Baleau
Château la Couspaude
Château Dassault
Château Destieux
Château la Dominique
Château Faugères
Château Faurie de Souchard
Château de Ferrand
Château Fleur Cardinale
Château La Fleur Morange
Château Fombrauge
Château Fonplégade
Château Fonroque
Château Franc Mayne
Château Grand Corbin
Château Grand Corbin-Despagne
Château Grand Mayne
Château les Grandes Murailles
Château Grand-Pontet
Château Guadet
Château Haut-Sarpe
Clos des Jacobins
Couvent des Jacobins
Château Jean Faure
Château Laniote
Château Larmande
Château Laroque
Château Laroze
Clos la Madeleine 
Château la Marzelle
Château Monbousquet
Château Moulin du Cadet
Clos de l’Oratoire
Château Pavie Decesse
Château Peby Faugères
Château Petit Faurie de Soutard
Château de Pressac
Château le Prieuré
Château Quinault l’Enclos
Château Ripeau
Château Rochebelle
Château Saint-Georges-Cote-Pavie
Clos Saint-Martin
Château Sansonnet
Château la Serre
Château Soutard
Château Tertre Daugay (Quintus)
Château la Tour Figeac
Château Villemaurine
Château Yon-Figeac


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