The Médoc Crus Bourgeois

The Crus Bourgeois classification

Today the Crus Bourgeois represent a large part of the red wines produced in the Médoc wine region, which is located north of Bordeaux.

At the origin the term “Bourgeois” represented many estates throughout the entire Bordeaux region. This term was then concentrated in the Médoc area to distinguish certain properties. It is rather difficult to give a precise date for the origin of this classification, probably before the 19th century.   This classification is based on the first 1932 classification, which has since been followed by numerous revisions.

The last revision took place in 2020 and now will be reviewable every 5 years. It integrates the different communal appellations in the Médoc, such as Saint-Estèphe, Margaux, etc. 

To be part of the Crus Bourgeois the estate has to register and fills a set of criteria : be part of one of the Médoc AOCs, have adequate installations, be conform with the verification plan of the Crus Bourgeois, undergo aleatory analytics and organoleptic controls before packaging… A blind tasting on several vintages is also a requisite to integrate this classification. If you want to understand more about this classification you can click-here.

It results in wines with the recognition of a certain homogeneity and also a certain level of quality. The bottles are traceable and have an easily identifiable “CB” label (for “Crus Bourgeois”). A good thing to guide the consumer in his choice.

Now the Crus Bourgeois are composed of 249 estates (or chateaux) and has 3 ranks, starting with the most prestigious :   

  • Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnel (14 estates) 
  • Crus Bourgeois Supérieur (56 estates)
  • Crus Bourgeois (179 estates)  

The detailed list of domains for each rank is provided below, as my view about this classification.

The classification of 2020 : 249 estates !

The "Crus Bourgeois exceptionnels" (14 châteaux)

The "Crus Bourgeois supérieurs" (56 châteaux)

The Médoc Crus Bourgeois (179 châteaux)

Opinion about the Crus Bourgeois classification

My view:  

The Crus Bourgeois classification offers a safe benchmark for the consumer. I personally have often be confident with this label. Indeed I very quickly identified it as such: good value for money in the different Médoc appellations. For me it is a good landmark, fast to check it on the bottle, and reliable.

The fact that this classification now offers different ranks make it possible to promote certain notable wines and thus allows to create an emulation between the properties.  That being said, you will be able to find wines at any levels that can compete with the top of the list. It will depend on the vintages, but also on your tastes, which is the most important thing.  Keeping in  our mind that there are also beautiful references outside the classification (as for all classification). 

The consequent number of Crus Bourgeois could be seen as a handicap because there is a real risk that we come to trivialise this mention… but it is important to remember that this classification is established according strict rules, and high quality standards. This high number can be explained by the fact that the Médoc area has a significant number of properties that produce excellent wines. And this is a truth!

Official website of the Crus Bourgeois : click-here

Xavier LACOMBE