Saint-Emilion: Another great palace dropped from classification

Saint-Emilion’s 1er Grand Cru Class B, Château La Gaffelier, announced on Wednesday it was withdrawing from the coveted ten-year classification, becoming the fourth major name in the Bordeaux appellation to reject this increasingly contested system .

Another historical giant in the appellation is withdrawing from the classification, after Châteaux Ausonne, Cheval-Blanc and Angelus, whose new edition is due to be published in September, ten years after 2012.

“We were tasted by amateurs, whose family has run this palace for 300 years, which produces 80,000 bottles annually on 22 hectares and has been included in the assortment of Saint-milion since its birth,” said AFP Alexandre de Malet Roquefort Was. Beginning in 1955.

At the core of their dissatisfaction was a summons before the classification authorities, which had been evaluated poorly before the publication of the 2022 prize list to convince themselves on their terroir and their tastes.

“Our terrain has not changed since 1955! Alleging “incompetence”, said Mr de Mallet Roquefort, who rated his 2013 vintage as the “worst in 20 years” that was better than his great years.

“We didn’t want to defend ourselves,” he said.

“They are wrong because this ranking is proof of emulation for our position,” reacted Jean-François Galhaud, president of the Saint-milion Wine Council. “We have about forty testers. Forty can’t be wrong”, he argued to AFP, defending the “total honesty” of the classification for which INAO (National Institute of Origin and Quality) is responsible.

However, this classification is increasingly contested, especially before the courts, for its selection criteria, much to the detriment of “fundamental principles” (terroir) to “secondary elements” (notoriety, public reception, etc.). Alleged to be over-important. , Taste…).

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For these reasons, Châteaux Ausone and Cheval-Blanc already announced last summer that they would not apply for the next prize list. In January, Château Angelus withdrew its candidacy, three months after its owner was sentenced for illegally taking an interest in the 2012 edition of the same classification.

These big reputed names of Bordeaux exporting around the world are not afraid to be dropped from the rankings. “We can double our volume, the brand dominates all rankings, it is so strong that we are not worried about it from a business point of view”, underlines Mr. de Mallet Roquefort.

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