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Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855

Bordeaux 1855 Classification History

Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855

When learning about vintage wine, there is no better starting point than the year 1855.

For the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, the World's Fair of the day, Napoleon III requested a classification system for Bordeaux wines - France's best - which were to be on display. The Exposition Universelle de Paris was a chance for France to display its very best for the world to see. The Gironde Chamber of Commerce requested that a classification system be devised to accompany their display of the fine wines of Bordeaux. The Bordeaux Wine Brokers' Union went to work on the project and came up with what we now refer to as the Classification of 1855.

They came up with a five-class ranking system of the red wines from the Medoc region, with the exception of Chateau Haut-Brion from Graves, which had to be included due to its renown. The white wines of Sauternes and Barsac were also included in a two-class ranking. The list reflected the market's view of the relative quality between the wines in terms of the selling price and reputation of the various chateaux. Within each category, the chateaux were ranked in order of quality - or selling price.

Considering the fact that many chateaux have changed hands and with them the management, thereby possibly effecting the quality of the wines for better or worse, the classification has held up remarkably well. The classification has only undergone one significant change in the last almost 150 years. By decree, on June 21, 1973, Chateau Mouton-Rothschild was promoted from a deuxieme cru to a premeir cru. At the same time, the premeir crus were to be listed in alphabetical order.

The 1855 Official Classification of the Medoc

In 1855, Napoleon requested that a classification be developed for Bordeaux wine (France's best) which was to be displayed at the Exposition Universelle de Paris.  What was developed is not referred to as The Classification of 1855.

First Growths (Premiers Crus) Commune

Chateau Lafite-Rothschild (Pauillac)

Chateau Margaux (Margaux)

Chateau Latour (Pauillac)

Chateau Haut-Brion Pessac ( Graves)

Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac)


Second Growths (Deuxiemes Crus) Commune

Chateau Rauson-Seglo (Margaux)

Chateau Rauzan-Gassies (Margaux)

Chateau Leoville-Las Cases (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Leoville-Poyferre (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Leoville-Barton (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Durfort-Vivens (Margaux)

Chateau Gruaud-Larose (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Lascombes (Margaux)

Chateau Brane-Cantenac Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau Pichon-Longueville-Baron (Pauillac)

Chateau Pichon-Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande (Pauillac)

Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Cos d'Estournel (Saint-Estephe)

Chateau Montrose (Saint-Estephe)

Third Growths (Troisiemes Crus) Commune

Chateau Kirwan Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau d'Issan Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau Lagrange (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Langoa-Barton (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Giscours Labarde (Margaux)

Chateau Malescot Saint-Exupery (Margaux)

Chateau Boyd-Cantenac Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau Cantenac-Brown Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau Palmer Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau La Lagune Ludon (Haut-Medoc)

Chateau Desmirail (Margaux)

Chateau Calon-Segur (Saint-Estephe)

Chateau Ferriere (Margaux)

Chateau Marquis d'Alesme-Becker (Margaux)


Fourth Growths (Quatriemes Crus) Commune

Chateau Saint-Pierre (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Talbot (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Branaire-Ducru (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Duhart-Milon-Rothschild (Pauillac)

Chateau Pouget Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau La Tour-Carnet Saint-Laurent (Haut Medoc)

Chateau Lafon-Rochet (Saint-Estephe)

Chateau Beychevelle (Saint-Julien)

Chateau Prieure-Lichine Cantenac (Margaux)

Chateau Marquis-de-Terme (Margaux)


Fifth Growths (Cinquiemes Crus) Commune

Chateau Pontet-Canet (Pauillac)

Chateau Batailley (Pauillac)

Chateau Haut-Batailley (Pauillac)

Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste (Pauillac)

Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse (Pauillac)

Chateau Lynch-Bages (Pauillac)

Chateau Lynch-Moussas (Pauillac)

Chateau Dauzac Labarde (Margaux)

Chateau Mouton-Baronne-Philippe (Pauillac)

Chateau du Tertre Arsac (Margaux)

Chateau Haut-Bages-Liberal (Pauillac)

Chateau Pedesclaux (Pauillac)

Chateau Belgrave Saint-Laurent (Haut-Medoc)

Chateau de Camensac Saint-Laurent (Haut-Medoc)

Chateau Cos-Labory (Saint-Estephe)

Chateau Clerc-Milon (Pauillac)

Chateau Croizet-Bages (Pauillac)

Chateau Cantemerle Macau (Haut-Medoc)


The 1855 Official Classification of Sauternes

In 1855, Napoleon requested that a classification be developed for Bordeaux wine (France's best) which was to be displayed at the Exposition Universelle de Paris.  What was developed is not referred to as The Classification of 1855.

First Great Growth (Premier Cru Superieur) Commune

Chateau d'Yquem (Sauternes)


First Growths (Premiers Crus) Commune

Chateau La Tour-Blanche (Bommes)

Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey (Bommes)

Chateau Clos Haut-Peyraguey (Bommes)

Chateau de Rayne-Vigneau (Bommes)

Chateau Suduiraut (Preignac)

Chateau Coutet (Barsac)

Chateau Climens (Barsac)

Chateau Guiraud (Sauternes)

Chateau Rieussec (Fargues)

Chateau Rabaud-Promis (Bommes)

Chateau Sigalas-Rabaud (Bommes)


Second Growths (Deuxiemes Crus) Commune

Chateau de Myrat (Barsac)

Chateau Doisy-Daene (Barsac)

Chateau Doisy-Dubroca (Barsac)

Chateau Doisy-Vedrines (Barsac)

Chateau d'Arche (Sauternes)

Chateau Filhot (Sauternes)

Chateau Broustet (Barsac)

Chateau Nairac (Barsac)

Chateau Caillou (Barsac)

Chateau Suau (Barsac)

Chateau de Malle (Preignac)

Chateau Romer-du-Hayot (Fargues)

Chateau Lamothe-Despujols (Sauternes)

Chateau Lamothe-Guignard (Sauternes)

Other than Haut-Brion, the Classification of 1855 did not take into account the chateaux of Graves. It was first classified in 1953, but the classification did not become official until the 1959 ranking. The one class list is divided between red wines and white wines, which means that some chateaux are mentioned twice, once in each category. To avoid disputes the chateaux within each category, are not ordered by quality.


The 1959 Official Classification of the Graves

Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855

Classified Red Wines of Graves Commune

Chateau Bouscaut (Cadaujac)

Chateau Haut-Bailly (Leognan)

Chateau Carbonnieux (Leognan)

Domaine de Chevalier (Leognan)

Chateau de Fieuzal (Leognan)

Chateau d'Olivier (Leognan)

Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere (Leognan)

Chateau La Tour-Martillac (Martillac)

Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte (Martillac)

Chateau Haut-Brion ( Pessac)

Chateau La Mission-Haut-Brion (Talence)

Chateau Pape-Clement ( Pessac)

Chateau Latour-Haut-Brion (Talence)


Classified White Wines of Graves Commune

Chateau Bouscaut (Cadaujac)

Chateau Carbonnieux (Leognan)

Chateau Domaine de Chevalier (Leognan)

Chateau d'Olivier (Leognan)

Chateau Malartic Lagraviere (Leognan)

Chateau La Tour-Martillac (Martillac)

Chateau Laville-Haut-Brion (Talence)

Chateau Couhins-Lurton (Villenave d'Ornan)

Chateau Couhins (Villenave d'Ornan)

Chateau Haut-Brion ( Pessac) (added in 1960)

Saint-Emilion was omitted from the 1855 Classification. As a result, the local Wine Growers' Union decided to formally draw up a Classification of St-Emilion in 1955. It was to be revised every ten years to keep it from becoming too rigid and outdated. Although this is not happening on schedule, it has been revised twice, most recently in 1985.

The classification was based on soil, a tasting of the wine, and the reputation of the vineyard. Work on a new revision is being done now and should be published any time.


The 1985 Official Classification of St-Emilion

Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855

First Growths (Premiers Crus) Classes - A

Chateau Ausone

Chateau Cheval Blanc


First Growths (Premiers Crus) Classes - B

Chateau Beausejour-Duffau La Garrosse

Chateau Belair


Clos Fourtet

Chateau Figeac

Chateau La Gaffeliere

Chateau Magdelaine

Chateau Pavie

Chateau Trottevieille


Grands Crus Classes

Chateau L'Angelus

Chateau L'Arrosee

Chateau Balestard La Tonnelle

Chateau Beausejour-Becot

Chateau Bellevue

Chateau Bergat

Chateau Berliquet

Chateau Cadet Piola

Chateau Canon-La-Gaffeliere

Chateau Cap de Mourlin

Chateau Le Chatelet

Chateau Chauvin

Chateau Clos Des Jacobins

Chateau Clos La Madeleine

Chateau Clos De L'Oratoire

Chateau Clos Saint-Martin

Chateau La Clotte

Chateau La Clusiere

Chateau Corbin

Chateau Corbin Michotte

Chateau Couvent Des Jacobins

Chateau Croque-Michotte

Grands Crus Classes

Chateau Cure-Bon-La-Madeleine

Chateau Dassault

Chateau La Dominique

Chateau Faurie de Souchard

Chateau Fonplegade

Chateau Fonroque

Chateau Franc-Mayne

Chateau Grand-Barrail-Lamarzelle-Figeac

Chateau Grand-Corbin

Chateau Grand-Corbin Despagne

Chateau Grand-Mayne

Chateau Grand-Pontet

Chateau Gaudet-Saint-Julien

Chateau Haut-Corbin

Chateau Haut-Sarpe

Chateau Lanoite

Chateau Larcis-Ducasse

Chateau Lamarzelle

Chateau Larmande

Chateau Laroze

Chateau Matras

Chateau Mauvezin

Chateau Moulin-du-Cadet

Chateau L'Oratoire

Chateau Pavie-Decesse

Chateau Pavie-Macquin

Chateau Pavillon-Cadet

Chateau Petit-Faurie-de-Soutard

Chateau Le Prieure

Chateau Ripeau

Chateau Saint-Georges-Coat-Pavie

Chateau Sansonnet

Chateau La Serre

Chateau Soutard

Chateau Tertre-Daugay

Chateau La Tour-du-Pin-Figeac (Giraud-Belivier)

Chateau La Tour-du-Pin-Figeac (Moueix)

Chateau La Tour-Figeac

Chateau Trimoulet

Chateau Troplong-Mondot

Chateau Villemaurine

Chateau Yon-Figeac

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