For reading the french version / Pour lire la version française :
We had the inside scoop and had already announced the changes introduced in this new edition:
I am sorry this article is only in French, that is why I will try to fix this mistake today.
As a sign of globalization, which not even the wine escapes, Rémy Poussart’s guide has been translated in English. Assuggested by the cover, each text written in French is followed by its English translation. It is nice for French people who can learn some English vocabulary words… and mutually.
So, 11 different areas occupy the first 11 places. A surprising fact because despite the dozens of Bordeaux AOC (57 to be exact), we would expect that the most prestigious of them monopolize the top positions. With a range of nearly 600 wines supposed to be the most Bordeaux wines, the most famous properties are present. Forgive me if I was too lazy to check if all the classified growths were there, but the main estates are there.
Press wine that usually puts these wines on a pedestal, and is careful not to confront them with less known wines, remained discreet about the release of this book for the 2007 vintage. And we imagine it will be the same for this 2008 edition. It’s a pity…
A word about the Château Crusquet Sabourin is required. With a score of 12.5 it is considered a very good value for money but occupies a disappointing rank compared to the one it had obtained last year for 2007 with a nice 14.4. This is all the more surprising that the 2008 has more assets to please than its predecessor and that this trend is confirmed by the customer that I met more round. And also more powerful, with aromas of ripe fruit. In my opinion, two factors may explain this classification, which is the opportunity to return to the criticisms directed against the Poussart Ranking. You can also say Poussart Guide, so called because of the person behind this initiative.
The first one is the lenght of this Crusquet 2008, which is fairly woody and astringent. It seems that the tasters are hunting for some characters, woody and vegetal at first. We give them 100% right but not 200% because some quite dense and pleasant wines are overtaken by lighter wines, but more fruity.
The second one explains this report: the wines are not tasted by area, in which establish a hierarchy is easier, but mixed between all of them. If you taste a €10 Blaye wine after a grand cru ten times more expensive, logic dictates that the comparison is flattering to one and not the other. But the purpose of this Poussart classification demonstrate that this is not always the most expensive wine the best or the cheapest the worst. Beyond matters of taste, we sometimes observe this fact in practice. This observation goes in the right direction, because it leads each producer to strive for excellence.
The wines are tested by lots, and some of them are certainly less favorable, and for any wine: it is probable that the lower-rated great wines in the guide have suffered essentially the comparison with other grands crus. It would be interesting to have the composition of the series enjoyed on the GJIV website(*), where you can find already more than 7.000 comments prior to the publication of this guide.
We will continue to follow its evolution because these blind tastings without bias related to the area or price of the wine is the best way to get a good evaluation of the divine beverage.
Concerning Château Crusquet Sabourin, we bet it will get a better place in next editions. With the 2009 and 2010 vintages, this second one gratified notably of a bronze medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards, with rich taste, ripe aromas of black fruit with concentrated tannins … personally I am confident and impatient, but just let see next year.
Meanwhile, as announced in the previous article, here are the top 50 wines rated in The Great Ranking of Bordeaux Wines vintage 2008:
Name (cuvée), AOC(**), score/20, score/100(***), production (in bottles), price (in euros)
1. Château Gaby (cuvée Gaby), FRONSAC, 17.8, 95, 4.500bts, 30€
2. Château Martet (Réserve de Famille), SAINTE-FOY BORDEAUX, 17.7, 94,44.400bts, 35€
3. Château Pape-Clément, PESSAC-LEOGNAN, 17.5, 94,120.000bts, 85€
4.Château de Chantegrive, GRAVES, 17.4, 94, 180.000bts, 16€
5. Château Lafite Rothschild, PAUILLAC, 17.3, 93, 200.000, 880€
6. Château La Gasparde (Cuvée Prestige), COTES DE CASTILLON, 17.3, 93, 19.800bts, 15€
7. Prémya, PUISSEGUIN-SAINT-EMILION, 17, 93, 3.500bts, 16€
8. Château Léoville Poyferré, SAINT-JULIEN, 17, 93, >200.000bts, 59€
9. Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.9, 92, 60.000bts, 39€
10. Château PLINCE, POMEROL, 16.9, 92, 50.000bts, 23€
11. Château de Barbe Blanche, LUSSAC-SAINT-EMILION, 16.9, 92, 80.000bts, 15€
12. Virginie de Valandraud, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.9, 92, 15.000bts, 37€
13. Château Larmande, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.8, 92, 80.000bts, 30€
14. Château SANSONNET, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.8, 92, 16.000bts, 18€
15. Château HAUT-VIGNEAU, BLAYE, 16.8, 92, 12.000bts, 11€
16. Château Nénin, POMEROL, 16.8, 92, 50.000bts, 33€
17. 1938 (top wine of Puisseguin-Lussac cooperative), PUISSEGUIN-SAINT-EMILION, 16.7, 92, 3.500bts, 12€
18. Petrus, POMEROL, 16.7, 92, 54.000bts, 2.300€
19. Château Pichon-Longueville Baron, PAUILLAC, 16.7, 92, 288.000bts, 95€
20. La Tour du Pin, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.7, 92, 28.000bts, 33€
21. Château Saint-Georges (Côte Pavie), SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.7, 92, 21.000bts, 28€
22. Château L’Archange, SAINT-EMILION, 16.7, 92, 3.800bts, 20€
23. Château de Fieuzal, PESSAC-LEOGNAN, 16.7, 92, 110.000bts, 30€
24.1938 (top wine of Puisseguin-Lussac cooperative), LUSSAC-SAINT-EMILION, 16.7, 92, 3.500bts, 12€
25. Château Les Grandes Murailles, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.6, 92, 10.000bts, 30€
26. Château Léoville Barton, SAINT-JULIEN, 16.6, 92, 215.700bts, 65€
27. Château Faugères, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.6, 92, 55.000bts, 29€
28. Le Clos du Beau-Père, POMEROL, 16.6, 91, 7.000bts, 35€
29. Domaine de L’A, CASTILLON-COTES DE BORDEAUX, 16.6, 91, 40.000bts, 27€
30. Miss Petit Mangot, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.6, 91, 3.700bts, 15€
31. Prémya (another top wine from Puisseguin-Lussac cooperative), LUSSAC-SAINT-EMILION, 16.5, 91, 3.500bts, 16€
32. Grand Vin de Reignac, BORDEAUX SUPERIEUR, 16.5, 91, env.200.000bts, 22€
33. Château Méjean, GRAVES, 16.5, 91, 33.000bts, 18€
34. Château Léoville Las Cases, SAINT-JULIEN, 16.4, 91, 180.000bts, 135€
35. Vieux Château Palon, MONTAGNE-SAINT-EMILION, 16.4, 91, 30.600bts, 18€
36. La Dame de Onze Heures, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.4, 91, 4.800bts, 45€
37. Château Troplong Mondot, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.4, 91, 70.000bts, 100€
38. Château Rol Valentin, SAINT-EMILION GRAND CRU, 16.3, 91, 27.000bts, 35€
39. Château de Malleret (cuvée M), MARGAUX, 16.3, 91, 5.000bts, 23€
40. Château Seguin, PESSAC-LEOGNAN, 16.3, 91, 90.000bts, 19€
45. Château Bel-Air La Royère, BLAYE, 16.3, 91, 12.000, 19€
46. Château La Croix-Toulifaut, POMEROL, 16.3, 91, 10.000bts, 33€
47. Château Calon Ségur, SAINT-ESTEPHE, 16.3, 91, 100.000bts, 65€
48. Vieux Château Gaubert, GRAVES, 16.3, 91, 45.000bts, 15€
49. Château d’Issan, MARGAUX, 16.3, 91, 91.000bts, 40€
50. Château Belle-Vue, HAUT-MEDOC, 16.3, 91, 60.000bts, 17€
This list was a bit ambitious, but gives a good overview. The vintage 2008 seems to give a good deal to the wines of the Libournais and the right riverside. We can congratulate the Puisseguin-Lussac cooperative winery for placing 4 wines in this ranking (« 1938 » and « Prémya » top cuvées being declined in both AOC). Personally I say bravo to Château Haut-Vigneau and Château Bel-Air The Blaye Royère for representing Blaye in the top 50 of this of Bordeaux wines classification ! One final remark: I have not reported it here because up to 40 euros wines have all benefited from three small hearts (synonymous of an excellent value for money). Beyond 40 euros, however, small hearts disappear very quickly. Indeed, some people consider that no wine should cost more than 50 euros. After that, it is a matter of speculation.
(*) The site of the Grand Jury International des Vins : http://www.gjiv.com/
(**) AOC is the french acronym for appellation d’origine contrôlée. This is the area of production, which each wine inside of it must respect a set of rules defined by a specification, and monitored by organizations linked to the state. So among the 57 AOC of the Bordeaux vineyards, you can find Bordeaux, Bordeaux Supérieur, Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac, Saint-Estèphe, Fronsac, Graves, Bourg, Blaye, Castillon, Saint-Emilion, etc. Each one has its own specifications, and these are specified in a document called « le cahier des charges ». There is another document which is an audit plan called « le plan de vérification du cahier des charges ».
(***) The score on 20 and the score on 100 are not linked. The first one is a french score, the other one is an anglo-saxon score.
The French method consists in giving a score on 50 points, then to double it in order to have the score on 100 points.
The Anglo-Saxon method (as Robert Parker does) consists in giving a score on 50 points and then to add 50 points.
Thats is why these two methods are distinguished in this publication (so the score on 20 is the French score on 100 divided by 5).