Wednesday, April 23, 2014

First Growth

A modern, re-imagined classification of Bordeaux's First Growth wines: (listed alphabetically)

Angélus, Saint-Émilion (New)
Ausone, Saint-Émilion (New)
Cheval Blanc, Saint-Émilion (New)
Haut-Brion (Red), Graves
Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
Latour, Pauillac
La Mission Haut-Brion, Graves (New
Le Pin, Pomerol (New)
Margaux, Margaux
Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac
Palmer, Margaux (New)
Petrus, Pomerol (New)
D’Yquem, Sauternes (New)

Inclusion of the elite wines of the Right Bank, which routinely outsell the original Left Bank First Growths, is a no-brainer. However, the biggest benefactor of a modern re-classification is the addition of new Left Bank wines: Palmer from Margaux and La Mission Haut-Brion from Graves.

Chateau Palmer was a lowly Third Growth under the old classification despite its long history of achieving excellent scores and consistently outselling all Second Growth wines over the past 15-20 years. Palmer deserves to 

La Mission Haut-Brion sits adjacent to the Haut-Brion property and since the early 20th century has been considered its equal in every way; often matching the release price and critical scores of its famous neighbour. Both properties release a limited amount of a namesake white wine which could both easily have been added to the list of First Growth wines if we were to include white wines in this classification.

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