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Cru Bourgeois judging to become every five years
Published:  03 October, 2017

The vice president of the Alliance des Cru Bourgeois du Médoc believes it is a positive and fair move to extend their examinations to once every five years.

Armelle Cruse told DI at the 2015 vintage tasting event in central London that the selection process of Cru Bourgeois needs to become clearer and more fair to both producers and consumers.

“If we judge every five years we are able to judge the winery rather than just the vintage,” said Cruse.

“I think this is much more fair because some prestigious wine growers can fail at the first tasting because their wines haven’t been given the chance to develop some of their flavours which younger, fruiter wines already have.”

Cru Bourgeois du Médoc is one of five categorisations of wines from the Bordeaux region of France which gives an official approval of quality to a vintage bottle of wine.

There are 271 wines in the 2015 Cru Bourgeois selection, seven fewer than 2014, but Cruse does not want a smaller number of wines, rather a greater number of sub categories within the alliance.

Cruse added: “The target is not to push people away but to bring up the quality of wine. We represent 32m bottles which is a big amount, and the larger our representation the more power we have, so the target is not to go down.

"We represent the whole Médoc region and its eight appellations, and some wine producers want to show they are different from the others.

Cruse continued: “Cru Bourgeois can be confusing because it is a big category, so we want to get more organised and go back to 1932 when we had a basic Cru Bourgeois, Cru Bourgeois  Superior and Cru Bourgeois Exceptional.

“This would make it easier for wineries to know what category they sit in.”

Cruse believes that if the top end members of the Cru Bourgeois category do not find their place in the alliance, they will leave it. And if they leave then Cru Bourgeois will be seen as a more basic range of wines.

She also said that even if it becomes confusing for consumers in the US and UK for example, the image of Cru Bourgeois will be better if they add those categories.

“We have a lot of education do to, for sure. For us it will be about communication and being modern is difficult in Bordeaux because it is hard to ignore tradition.

“But I believe these categories could help the Cru Bourgeois family.”