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St-Emilion classification suspended

The St-Emilion wine classification has been suspended after a court concluded there was ‘serious doubt’ about the reliability of the jury for the 2006 listing. The court ruling means chateaux in the region have been banned from putting the coveted Grand Cru Classe label on their bottles because, for the time being, no classification exists and the previous ranking, drawn up in 1996, no longer applies.

The case was brought after four chateaux that were excluded from the new listing complained that they weren’t treated fairly. As only seven of the 95 chateaux involved were visited, the court decided the classification jury hadn’t treated them all equally and had shown ‘partiality’. It suspended the whole classification until a full investigation can be carried out.

This comes at an unfortunate time for Bordeaux’s wine industry as it was presenting last year’s vintage to the world’s wine experts at its annual tasting last week. With the classification in disarray, noone has any idea whether the wines will be labelled Grand Cru or not.