Wine Words: Cru Bourgeois

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Cru Bourgeois is a wine term that you see on the label of some wines from Bordeaux. Do you know what the term actually means? 

Cru Bourgeois is a quality classification term for red wines produced in the Médoc, which is on the left bank region of Bordeaux. If Cru Bourgeois is on a wine label it means that the wine has been examined and certified as having the high enough quality and taste characteristics to qualify as a Cru Bourgeois. Unlike the famous 1855 Classification of the Médoc, Cru Bourgeois is not a classification of the Château or property. Unlike Burgundy’s Premier and Grand Cru classification, it is not a classification of vineyard site.  Rather it is a classification and certification of the quality of the wine itself.

The Cru Bourgeois certification and classification is done on a yearly basis. Therefore, having it one year is no guarantee that you will have it the following year. The wines are assessed and certified on an annual basis by an external independent body. The current and latest classification list published is for the 2010 vintage. 260 wines received the Cru Bourgeois certification in 2010. About half of these are available in the United States. 

Eligible wines for the classification come from the Médoc and Haut Médoc, as well as the various Médoc communes including Margaux, St. Julien, St. Estèphe and Pauillac.

The Cru Bourgeois classification is a symbol of quality and wines generally represent excellent value for the wine consumer. Prices range between $20 and $50 per bottle. 

(Image: Underlying image by Sadovnikova Olga/Shutterstock)

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