Chateau Pavie and Angelus Promoted in St Emilion Classification 2012
What is the St Emilion Classification?
St Emilion is a world renowned region in Bordeaux, famous for the production of exceptional wines. In 1955 the wines of St Emilion were classified; contrary to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 (which covers the regions of Medoc and Graves), the St Emilion classification is updated roughly every 10 years. Moreover, the St Emilion is the only classification of the right bank. Initially there were 12 Premier grands crus classes and 63 Grands crus classes, whereas today, according to the newest reclassification, there are 63 Grands crus classes and 18 Premier grand crus classes.
This year a grand total of 96 chateaux applied to be considered for the St Emilion index; one was rejected, 12 chateaux were relegated from their previous classification or not given Grand cru classe status, while the rest were successfully indexed. The most notable relegation would have to be the Chateau Magdelaine, which is no longer part of the St Emilion classification.
The Impact in the Wine Industry
For the first time since the inception of this industry-recognized classification, two chateaux have been added to the highest league – the Premier Grand Cru Classe A. What are the potential ramifications across the fine wine industry? It may be too early to tell, however, one can almost certainly rule out a sudden price-hike for Chateau Pavie and Angelus. The main reason therefore would be the fact that these Chateaux consistently produce top-notch wines, and have been doing so for decades. Notable vintages for both Chateaux have scored exceptionally high marks from Robert Parker as well as other renowned wine critics; the reclassification to the top tier is simply an acknowledgement of all the hard work and top quality wines produced year after year.
The Deputy Director of Chateau Angelus, Stephanie de Bouard commented upon the new classification “This [promotion] is the result of work done by a dedicated team over many years.. We are delighted, but it only confirms what the market was saying – placing us very close to the other two A-classed estates.”
This is great news for wine enthusiasts across the globe who may have feared that the newest St Emilion classification would lead to an increase in price of their favorite wine. Gerard Perse, owner of Chateau Pavie was also overjoyed at the promotion, yet had some reassuring words for the consumers. “The move up to A will no doubt increase the value [of our wines].. but it would be wrong to hurt our loyal customers, and a heresy, to put up our prices to the level of a Cheval Blanc or an Ausone. Consumers would not understand if the price went up fourfold in a year.”
The reclassification of St Emilion has been a well-received highlight throughout the entire wine industry. In times of financial uncertainty and global market turmoil, it signals some stability and good news for the newly promoted, as well as the fine wine market in general. As the various Chateaux continue to strive for excellence and perfection, they reap the dividends of this luxury product on the long run.
Most importantly, Chateau Pavie and Chateau Angelus have been rewarded for their consistent hard work and efforts in producing some of the best wines over the last decade, and can now classify themselves as one of the top chateaux in the world.
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