The list of 251 châteaux having successfully made it into the Sélection Officielle des Crus Bourgeois for the 2013 vintage was released at the end of September, during tastings for the media and wine trade held late September in Bordeaux, Paris and London and subsequently in Hong Kong 9 October. Our two estates, Château Reysson in Haut Medoc and Château Le Boscq, in Saint Estephe, comfortably took their place within the 2013 ranking, continuing a successful track record included in every selection since the 2008 vintage.
Château le Boscq and Château Reysson ; historic Bourgeois wines
The quality of the soils at Château le Boscq and Château Reysson has in fact long since been widely acknowledged. The concept of “Bourgeois Superieur” and “Bon Bourgeois” came to light in the very first Bordeaux wine classifications established from the mid 18th century by courtiers and negociants on the Place de Bordeaux, Bordeaux’s trading hub. Château le Boscq featured in an anonymous listing back in 1745, and was qualified as a “Bon Bourgeois” in William Johnston’s classification of 1813. After the Official classification of 1855, the terms “Cru Bourgeois” and “Cru Bourgeois Superieur” were used regularly and were attributed to Château Reysson, followed by Château le Boscq towards the end of the 19th century.
In 1932, the Bordeaux courtiers, authorised by both the Bordeaux Chambre de Commerce and the Gironde Chambre d’Agriculture, recognised 444 Crus Bourgeois. This list, while never ratified by the Minister of Agriculture, has served as a benchmark for the Cru Bourgeois affiliation for more than 70 years. Both Château Le Boscq and Château Reysson featured as “Cru Bordeaux Superieur”, a ranking they would also later obtain at the official Cru Bourgeois classification of 2003, which was declared null and void by magistrates in 2007.
Château Le Boscq and Château Reysson : Today’s Cru Bourgeois wines
With the classification declared defunct, Medoc estate owners got together under the umbrella of the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc, and decided to revive the Medoc Cru Bourgeois title, with a totally original approach. To qualify, wines would be subjected to an annual tasting to assess wine quality, thereby providing the consumer with a quality guarantee. Recognised by the public authorities, the system would be compliant with a specific quality framework and a gruelling annual validation process undertaken by an independent organisation. It would come into play shortly after bottling, so two years after the harvest. As far as Dourthe is concerned, the selection criteria cover certain aspects of the rigorous work already carried out for a number of years on our two estates. And the process has enabled us to quite comfortably achieve this annual “Cru Bourgeois” recognition since the 2008 vintage. Obligatory numbered stickers affixed to qualifying wine bottles endorse this quality recognition for a particular vintage, while providing the consumer not only with information about the Cru but also delivering a guarantee of traceability for each wine bottle.
For almost 15 years now at Château Reysson, Dourthe has reaped the full potential of one of the most original terroirs in Medoc: a clay-limestone plateau and slopes, classic Saint-Emilion style, and the beloved birthplace of the predominant Merlot varietal. This model vineyard produces delicate, aromatic and fresh wines, with silky tannins. Every year it affirms once again its status as an exemplar of accessible and great quality Cru Bourgeois Haut Medoc.
Château Le Boscq’s outstanding terroir on a stunning gravel outcrop opposite the Gironde estuary, creates highly typical fine wine which aligns the power of Saint-Estephe with rare finesse.