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Bordeaux En Primeur continues but St Emilion classification takes a hit

Bordeaux En Primeur campaign continues but St Emilion classification takes another hit.

Chateau Ausone, who recently announced that they will not be included in the latest St Emilion re-classification, has released its 2021 vintage at £500/btl. It appears leaving the classification has not dented its price.

Along with Châteaux Angélus, Cheval Blanc will leave at the next classification leaving only Château Pavie as the current Premier Grand Cru Classé 'A' still planning to remain. This week Château La Gaffelière, a Premier Grand Cru Classé 'B', claimed it will also leave the classification. The Malet-Roquefort family, which has owned Château La Gaffelière for more than 300 years, said it ‘no longer recognises its values’ in the new criteria.

Châteaux Cheval Blanc and Ausone said that they noticed ‘a profound change in the philosophy of the classification’ in 2012, citing ‘marketing drift such as the importance of product placement, how often an estate appears in media, including PR and in social media, along with wine tourism infrastructure’, and said they no longer wanted to be a part of it.

Château La Gaffelière, which is currently ranked Premier Grand Cru Classé B, doubled down on that criticism in its statement.

It suggested that the new approach ‘calls into question the quality level of a terroir that has been acclaimed and distinguished by the AOC wine authorities for more than 65 years’.

Château Lafite Rothschild, a Premier Cru Classé released this week at £484/bottle - a 1% fall on the 2020 vintage, of which the market price has since risen by 19%.