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09.07.2006

The 2006 St. Emilion Classification Released

Every ten years, a cabal of wine officials gets together to decide who is good, who is better, and who is best in a little town on the North side of the Dordogne River in the Bordeaux region of France. The "Right Bank" as it is affectionately known, is home to the town and appellation of Saint Emilion, which today was "reclassified" to determine the best wine estates in the appellation.

Way back in the 19th century, a slightly crustier and secretive cabal of wine industry mavens got together and created the famous Classification of 1855 which defined for the world which were the top producers of the "Left Bank" of Bordeaux. At the time Saint Emilion was left out completely.

It took them 100 years or so, but eventually the winemakers and wine brokers of Saint Emilion created their own classification, and sensibly, they've been periodically updating it ever since. It now seems to be an "every 10 years" sort of affair, and today was the day that the new version came out.

It's always a big deal, with promotions, demotions, reinstatements, and lots of rancor, not to mention snide remarks from the other bank of the river about how overly generous the rankings are. Château Ausone and Château Cheval Blanc have held the top designations of Premier Grand Cru Classe A since the creation of the rankings, and many scoff at the swelling list of Classe B holders, suggesting that the criteria for "almost first place" is a lot looser than it should be.

The new list will doubtless encourage further such allegations as the list of Classe B estates grows further with the inclusion of two more estates, Troplong Mondot and Pavie-Macquin.

For those who care about such things, or the merely curious, here is the new and approved list. Don't trample one another going out to buy 2005 futures from the newly anointed Premier Grand Crus.

2006 St. Emilion Classification

PREMIERS GRANDS CRUS CLASSÉS A
Château Ausone
Château Cheval Blanc

PREMIERS GRANDS CRUS CLASSÉS B
Château Angélus
Château Beauséjour (Duffau-Lagarrosse)
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot
Château Belair
Château Canon
Château Figeac
Château La Gaffelière
Château Magdelaine
Château Pavie
Château Pavie-Macquin
Château Troplong-Mondot
Château Trottevieille
Clos Fourtet

GRANDS CRUS CLASSÉS
Château Balestard la Tonnelle
Château Bellefont-Belcier
Château Bergat
Château Berliquet
Château Cadet Piola
Château Canon la Gaffelière
Château Cap de Mourlin
Château Chauvin
Château Corbin
Château Corbin Michotte
Château Dassault
Château Destieux
Château Fleur-Cardinale
Château Fonplégade
Château Fonroque
Château Franc Mayne
Château Grand Corbin
Château Grand Corbin Despagne
Château Grand Mayne
Château Grand Pontet
Château Haut Corbin
Château Haut Sarpe
Château L'Arrosée
Château La Clotte
Château La Couspaude
Château La Dominique
Château La Serre
Château La Tour Figeac
Château Laniote
Château Larcis Ducasse
Château Larmande
Château Laroque
Château Laroze
Château Le Prieuré
Château Les Grandes Murailles
Château Matras
Château Monbousquet
Château Moulin du Cadet
Château Pavie-Decesse
Château Ripeau
Château Saint-Georges-Côte-Pavie
Château Soutard
Clos de l'Oratoire
Clos des Jacobins
Clos Saint-Martin
Couvent des Jacobins

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