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The Crus Bourgeois have a long history. The term "bourgeois growths" originated around 100 years ago and has always only applied to the eight appellations of the Médoc. The wineries labelled as such were first given an official status with the classification of 444 wineries defined between 1930 and 1932, a good number of which no longer exist today.

When the Syndicat des Crus Bourgeois was founded in 1962, fewer than 100 châteaux were initially involved, but after the status was recognised by the EEC in 1976 and the reclassification two years later, the number of Crus Bourgeois increased rapidly. By the turn of the millennium, there were more than 600 wines on the market under this designation, including some that were not exactly favourable to the reputation of the "bourgeois growths".

In 2003, a re-evaluation was decided, in which only 247 of the 490 applicants were classified. As a result, several dozen of the wine estates that had not been considered filed a lawsuit and succeeded in having the classification completely cancelled in 2007. What followed was a long struggle over the future of the Crus Bourgeois. This discussion only came to an end in 2020.

Since then, the classification has been renewed every five years. The current classification relates to the 2018 to 2022 vintages and divides the 249 classified estates into 179 Crus Bourgeois, 56 Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs and 14 Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels. However, as aspects of cellar management, hospitality and marketing are also taken into account when categorising the two higher classes, the official rank does not always indicate the quality of the wines, as can be seen time and again in our tasting results. This and the obligation to re-evaluate every five years are probably the main reasons why some of the most renowned former Crus Bourgeois have turned their backs on the classification. These include, above all, those châteaux whose wines would have regularly earned the rank of Grand Cru Classés in the past. As a result, other estates that have long deserved this attention are now coming into the limelight. Many of the wines we are currently tasting offer excellent qualities, and not just in terms of their often modest price.

We have tasted a selection of around 70 Crus Bourgeois over the past few weeks. The majority come from the 2018 to 2020 vintage trilogy, which has a reputation for being at least on a par with the legendary triumvirate from 1988 to 1990 in the Médoc. Nevertheless, the range of qualities is quite wide, and the few wines from the 2016, 2017 and 2021 vintages that we were able to taste were no less convincing than the good 18s, 19s and 20s.

The prices quoted are from the producers. As a rule, they refer to ex-farm conditions, which means that a certain mark-up must be expected in Germany. In some cases, however, approximate end consumer prices on the international market have apparently also been quoted, which are often set too high rather than too low. They should therefore only be taken as approximate guide values. Overall, the price level of the wines is very consumer-friendly: you can get really good wine for less than 15 euros - and even for the top wines you rarely have to spend more than 20 or 25 euros.

Crus Bourgeois Vintage 2021

Crus Bourgeois Vintage 2020

Crus Bourgeois Vintage 2019

Crus Bourgeois Vintage 2018