The region of Bordeaux in France is globally known to produce the best wine all over the globe. Hundreds of years passed, it is without a doubt that the vintners from this place have perfected the art of winemaking. Aside from this, Bordeaux is also a perfect place to cultivate wine grapes. The soil in this vast lands contain the right minerals to help with the growth of the vines and the temperature in Bordeaux that is sunny during the day and chilly at night are some of the many factors as to why Bordeaux creates the best.
Even in the early 1800s, many had seen the land’s potentials and also at the rise of the Golden Age, this region already produced promising wines. Because of this, the competition started to rise, and at the same time, even low-quality wines were sold internationally bearing the name of Bordeaux, and this could seriously affect the reputation of Bordeaux.
So to minimize damage, in 1855, Emperor Napoleon III created a system that categorizes or ranks appellations with the best reputation and wine produced along with the benefits that a premium winery can avail.
Château Lafite Rothschild is a wine estate located in the Northwest of the said region. Originally the area belonged to the La Fite family, but in 1868, James Mayer Rothschild purchased the land and became one of the many properties of the Rothschild family. Though the area was already known for its perfect terroir for cultivating wine, the Rothschild didn’t immediately have returned investments since the vineyard struggled with phylloxera and two world wars. Nevertheless, today, Château Lafite Rothschild is one of the most expensive wines to be ever sold in the world, ranging from 1000USD to 150, 000USD.
Chateau Latour is also an appellation located in the Northwest of the Bordeaux region. This chateau was initially designed to be a garrison fort for the ongoing hundred-year war in the country, but after this war, since vineyards existed near the area, the de Mullet family saw many possibilities and started their winery. Even in the early 14th century, the local newspaper “Essay” has featured the winery for showing promising wines. Francois Pinault owns the winery, and it became one of the properties of the Group Artemis. Also, because of the long history of the winery and hundreds of years of producing wine. Chateau Latour had also become one of the most expensive wines to be ever sold in auctions. It is also the basis of most wines which are developed outside the Bordeaux region. For example, Shop California Wines are one of those fine wine merchants that helps in making Bordeaux wines known to the world.
Chateau Margaux was initially known as the La Mothe, a fortified castle surrounded by grain fields but in the 16th century, Pierre de Lestonnac started to clear these grain fields to give way for grape vineyards. Many merchants bought the estate over the years, but as of today, Corinne Mentzelopoulos became the sole shareholder of Chateau Margaux. The estate also has produced a second wine called Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux, and the third is called Margaux de Château Margaux. A bottle reportedly sold for 225,000USD at a Christie’s Auction.
Château Haut-Brion, unlike the other four first growths, this appellation is located outside the city of Bordeaux and the oldest among the four. The estate has a long history which started back from the 14th century, but unfortunately, through this years the estate didn’t become triumphant because of unsuccessful owners and mismanagement. Prince of Luxembourg now governs château Haut-Brion. Haut Brion also produced Le Clarence de Haut-Brion, Château Haut-Brion Blanc, and Le Clarte de Haut-Brion. The wines from this appellation are among the most expensive Bordeaux wine ranging from 100UKD and above a bottle.
Chateau Mouton Rothschild is formerly known as Mouton. It wasn’t part of the original first growth because it wasn’t owned by a French noble, but decades after, it eventually became part of the list. This vineyard produces mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and only produces 4% of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It has become a tradition that a famous artist would design the label of the wine bottles, like Salvador Dali, Picasso, and Francis Bacon. It was also among the first estates to practice bottling rather than shipping it to wine merchants. Château Mouton Rothschild is one of the most expensive wines to have ever been sold around the globe.
Many argued that the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Classification is an outdated list since it didn’t drastically change over the years. Many also argued that some estates have produced a far more superior wine and some on the list has just lost their touch in the art of winemaking. That is why today, we have all sorts of scoring systems for grading the wine like the 100-point scale and the 5-point range, newsletters, and wine magazines popularized that. Unlike the 1855 Bordeaux Wine Classification, their list and scoring are up-to-date and even small, and starting estates can have an equal chance in this system. Nevertheless, many can’t deny that the Premium Crus still make the best wines all over the globe.
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