The Grands Crus Classés of the Graves region
Graves Grands Crus Classés
The classification of the “Grands Crus Classés des Graves” is a historical classification of Bordeaux wines, specific to the Graves wine region, on the left bank of Bordeaux.
This classification was created in 1953 and consecrates 14 properties. Revised only one time in 1959, there is no hierarchy within this classification. It designates both red and dry white wines. It is important to keep in mind that a Château that has been designated Grand Cru Classé for its red wines is not necessarily designated Cru Classé for its white wines. The reverse is also true. On the other hand, some Châteaux have both distinctions for their red and white wines. There are 6 of them:
Château Bouscaut, Château Carbonnieux, Domaine de Chevalier, Château Latour-Martillac, Château Malartic-Lagravière, Château Olivier.
Another thing that can lead to confusion in this classifucations is the fact that all these domains are today in the appellation Pessac-Léognan, which was created in 1987. This appellation, which is more recent, includes all the Classified Crus of the Graves region. However, not all the Castles present in this appellation are Crus Classés des Graves.
To learn more about the appellation Pessac-Léognan click here (under construction).
Link of the official website of the Pessac-Léognan appellation : click-here
You will have the possibility to click on the name of the properties for a direct access of a special page about them on this blog (under construction).
Graves Grands Crus Classés classification
Crus Classés : 12 reds
Château Bouscaut (+white)
Château Carbonnieux (+white)
Domaine de Chevalier (+white)
Château de Fieuzal
Château Latour-Martillac (+white)
Château Malartic-Lagravière (+white)
Château La Mission Haut-Brion
Château Olivier (+white)
Château Smith Haut-Lafitte
Château La Tour Haut-Brion (now part of Château La Mission Haut-Brion)
Crus Classés : 8 whites
Château Bouscaut (+red)
Château Carbonnieux (+red)
Domaine de Chevalier (+red)
Château Latour-Martillac (+red)
Château Malartic-Lagravière (+red)
Château Olivier (+red)
My opinion about the Grand Cru Classé des Graves classification
When we talk about the Bordeaux Grands Crus Classés, we do not always think about this classification in first, yet it has a great symbolic value. It is the basis of the creation of the appellation Pessac-Léognan, which is one of the most popular appellations of Bordeaux. It also consecrates great dry white wines, reminding that Bordeaux does not only make red wines. As such, it deserves interest and respect.
The consumer looking for a dry white or a red wine from this part of Bordeaux can choose the Classified Crus of the Graves with confidence.
However, it should be kept in mind, that many estates not classified in the Pessac-Léognan appellation, are today at the same quality level as the Grands Crus Classés. As any ranking it deserves consideration but just all classifications, it does not mention everything. Similarly, some Châteaux classified only for their reds have today incredible white wines. The best examples are found in my opinion through the white wines of Château Smith Haut-Lafitte, Château Haut-Brion, or Château Pape-Clément. These three properties are classified for their red wines, but they also make, years after years, among the most beautiful white wines of the world.