The St Emilion re-classification last September – which saw
Angelus and Pavie elevated to Premier Grand Cru Classé A status alongside
Ausone and Cheval Blanc – was not without controversy. Pauline
Vauthier, the winemaker who co-manages Ausone, was reported as describing the
re-classification as "a
big mess and a mistake
" at the en primeur tasting last week.

We thought it would
be interesting to see where the St Emilion wines would rank under the Left Bank’s
classification. Liv-ex recently updated the 1855
Bordeaux classification
, using the criterion applied in 1855: price. In
today’s blog we have applied that criterion to a selection of leading St
Emilion wines.

As a reminder, these
were the price bands we used in our 2013 calculations:

  • 1st Growths:
    £2,600 a case and above
  • 2nd Growths:
    £700 to £2,599
  • 3rd Growths:
    £450 to £699
  • 4th Growths:
    £320 to £449
  • 5th Growths:
    £250 to £319

As you can see from the table below, under Liv-ex’s classification Angelus and Pavie would be Second Growths, beneath Ausone and Cheval Blanc. Mondotte
– which was also promoted last September – appears higher up the table than
Pavie and Angelus, despite only being a Premier Grand Cru.  Other wines that would shift classes are Pavie
Decesse – a Second Growth under the Left Bank system – and Beausejour Becot,
which would be a Fourth Growth.  

According to Pierre-Olivier Clouet, technical director of Château Cheval
Blanc, "Having
too many Premier Grand Cru Classé As is not good for St Emilion’s image." Under
the Liv-ex classification, there would be just two of them.

St Emilion classification