The Médoc Classification of 1855

The Médoc Classification of 1855

The 1855 Bordeaux classification is one of the most famous and influential wine rankings in the world. It was created by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce for the Exposition Universelle de Paris in 1855, which was an international exhibition that aimed to showcase the best products from around the world. The classification was intended to be a way of showcasing the finest wines of the Bordeaux region, which is known for producing some of the most highly sought-after and expensive wines in the world.

The classification ranks the wines into five different tiers, or "growths", based on their reputation and price at the time. The first growths are considered the most prestigious, while the fifth growths are considered less highly esteemed. The original classification included 61 wines, with 58 from the Medoc region and three from the Graves region.

The first growths are Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Latour, Château Margaux, Château Haut-Brion, and Château Mouton-Rothschild. These wines are still among the most highly sought after and expensive in the world, and they are considered the benchmark for the entire region.

The classification was based on a number of factors, including the quality of the soil and vineyards, the reputation of the winery, and the price of the wine. The rankings were determined by a panel of judges who were appointed by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, and the criteria used to evaluate the wines was not made public.

The 1855 Bordeaux classification is still in use today, and the wines that were included in the original classification are still highly sought after by collectors and wine lovers. The classification has been revised only once, in 1973, when Château Mouton-Rothschild was elevated from second growth to first growth. 

While the 1855 Bordeaux classification is widely regarded as a benchmark for the region, it has also been criticised for its rigidity and lack of flexibility. Some critics argue that the classification is based on historical reputation rather than current quality, and that the rankings are too rigid to allow for changes in the quality of the wine over time. In addition, the classification only includes wines from the left bank of the Gironde estuary, which means that many high-quality wines from other parts of the region are not represented in the classification. Finally, the original classification was based on the opinions of a small group of experts, and some critics argue that it is not a fair representation of the entire region. 

Despite these criticisms, the 1855 Bordeaux classification remains a prestigious ranking that is highly regarded by wine lovers and collectors around the world. Today, it remains an important benchmark for the Bordeaux region, and it is a testament to the enduring quality of the wines that were produced in the mid-19th century.

First Growths / Premiers Crus

Château Lafite Rothschild | Pauillac

Château Latour | Pauillac

Château Margaux | Margaux

Château Haut-Brion | Pessac, Graves

Château Mouton Rothschild | Pauillac

Second Growths / Deuxièmes Crus

Château Rauzan-Ségla | Margaux

Château Rauzan-Gassies | Margaux

Château Léoville-Las Cases | St.-Julien

Château Léoville-Poyferré | St.-Julien

Château Léoville-Barton | St.-Julien

Château Durfort-Vivens | Margaux

Château Gruaud-Larose | St.-Julien

Château Lascombes | Margaux

Château Brane-Cantenac | Margaux

Château Pichon Longueville Baron | Pauillac

Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande | Pauillac

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou | St.-Julien

Château Cos d'Estournel | St.-Estèphe

Château Montrose | St.-Estèphe

Third Growths / Troisièmes Crus

Château Kirwan | Margaux

Château d'Issan | Margaux

Château Lagrange | St.-Julien

Château Langoa-Barton | St.-Julien

Château Giscours | Margaux

Château Malescot St. Exupéry | Margaux

Château Cantenac-Brown | Margaux

Château Boyd-Cantenac | Margaux

Château Palmer | Margaux

Château La Lagune |Haut-Medoc

Château Desmirail | Margaux

Château Dubignon | Margaux

Château Calon-Ségur | St.-Estèphe

Château Ferrière | Margaux

Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker | Margaux

Fourth Growths / Quatrièmes Crus

Château Saint-Pierre | St.-Julien

Château Talbot | St.-Julien

Château Branaire-Ducru| St.-Julien

Château Duhart-Milon | Pauillac

Château Pouget | Margaux

Château La Tour Carnet | Haut-Médoc

Château Lafon-Rochet | St.-Estèphe

Château Beychevelle | St.-Julien

Château Prieuré-Lichine | Margaux

Château Marquis de Terme | Margaux

Fifth Growths / Cinquièmes Crus

Château Pontet-Canet | Pauillac

Château Batailley | Pauillac

Château Haut-Batailley | Pauillac

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste | Pauillac

Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse | Pauillac

Château Lynch-Bages | Pauillac

Château Lynch-Moussas | Pauillac

Château Dauzac, Labarde | Margaux

Château d'Armailhac | Pauillac

Château du Tertre | Margaux

Château Haut-Bages-Libéral | Pauillac

Château Pédesclaux | Pauillac

Château Belgrave | Haut-Médoc

Château de Camensac | Haut-Médoc

Château Cos Labory | St.-Estèphe

Château Clerc-Milon | Pauillac

Château Croizet Bages | Pauillac

Château Cantemerle | Macau Haut-Médoc