Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.


Published:  23 July, 2008

By Neil Beckett

An early estimate that a quarter of the 419 Mdoc crus bourgeois risk losing this status in the new classification, to be completed in 2003 (Harpers 18 January), has been dismissed as groundless by Dominique Hessel, president of the Syndicat des Crus Bourgeois, which published the forecast at the start of the year. Speaking at the first crus bourgeois generic tasting in the UK, in London on 24 April, Hessel insisted that he could not make any official or personal prediction, and stressed that there is no quota'. He did, however, say that there would be very few' Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels (the top category) and few' Crus Bourgeois Suprieurs (the middle category). Blind tastings by the 18-strong jury started in January, but no decision will be made until six wines (1994-1999) from each of the 470 applying chteaux have been tested. Hessel was aware of the current deceptive practice of many chteaux, which market second and even third wines as crus bourgeois - a ruse which is not illegal now, but will be after the classification. (The term is authorised rather than regulated.) Hessel estimated that some 15-20% of crus bourgeois currently follow this bad habit', adding: We need to clarify and preserve crus bourgeois. The most important thing is to help consumers understand.' According to the Syndicat, crus bourgeois account for almost half of the Mdoc's production (55 million bottles a year); represent 63% of all properties in the region; and generate 40% of its total revenue.