Next week is the perfect opportunity to get to grips and taste the potential quality of the latest wines chosen for Cru Bourgeois du Médoc status from the Bordeaux 2014 vintage at this year’s London tasting. The body’s new vice president Armelle Cruse explains why it should be a must attend event for buyers.
The 2014 selection of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc wines offer both great value and quality promises the body’s new vice president.
How do you think the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc status has been received by the wider wine trade?
The quality approach of the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc seems to be appreciated by the wider wine trade: as it only approves a given volume of wines, it ensures a guarantee of quality and reassurance for both buyers and consumers.
What perception do you think key buyers have of Cru Bourgois du Médoc ?
The Crus Bourgeois are positioned in the medium to premium price range, depending on which appellations they come from. For buyers, they therefore represent accessible wines that have stable prices year in year out.
The wines also come from famous appellations of the Médoc including for the 2014 vintage: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Moulis, Pauillac and Saint-Estèphe. So are really good value for money.
What are the key messages you would like buyers to know about Cru Bourgeois du Médoc wines and their relevance to restaurants, and the wider on-trade?
Thanks to the diversity of the Crus Bourgeois family, the trade will be able to find very enjoyable wines that range in an average price from £25 to £50 for the on-trade. The wines are well suited to match with food and drink over a meal and give on-trade buyers good affordable wines from Bordeaux for their wine lists.
The wines also give reassurance to consumers as each bottle carries an authentication sticker. Using their smartphone, consumers can scan the QR code on the sticker and go directly to the www.crus-bourgeois.com website and get direct access to information about that specific wine and other wines and châteaux in the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc .
Can you explain how this year’s Cru Bourgeois du Médoc selection has been decided? What was the process?
It has not been decided but it is the result of a strict and impartial quality process. Indeed since the 2008 vintage, the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc has set up an innovative and annual approach to ensure quality.
A representative selection is first determined in an initial blind tasting of samples provided by candidates. It serves as a reference for the vintage concerned. Each wine is then tasted and scored by a jury of experts.
The quality procedure is monitored by an independent body on the basis of a set of specifications. Then, each chateau applies under the control of that independent body. Tasting is carried out on an individual basis with no conferring.
The overall “Cru Bourgeois” accreditation is based on the average of the scores given to the wines by each of the six professional tasters. The score allocated to a specific château is compared to that of the representative sample for the overall vintage concerned. If the wine obtains a score greater than or equal to the representative sample, it becomes a “Cru Bourgeois”.
The Châteaux select the best wines from their production that they think has the necessary quality for each vintage. Therefore the quality will vary for each vintage.
How would you describe the styles of wines in this year’s selection compared to previous years?
We had an exceptional Indian summer in 2014, which means the wines can be drunk earlier, but also have the ability to age. After a cool and wet summer wine producers were worried about the outcome of the vintage just weeks before picking. Thankfully the sun reappeared from the end of August until the first week of October, just at the right moment for the grapes to finish ripening in ideal conditions.
The result are wines that are more of a classic style Bordeaux wine and are very pleasant to drink. Each vintage is different in Bordeaux, but buyers can be assured that thanks to the Cru Bourgeois quality selection process whatever the style of the vintage the wines that have the Cru Bourgeois stamp on them have deserved it.
What can the trade expect to see at next week’s London tasting?
They will find a large diversity of wines thanks to the 182 wines represented at the tasting. They can taste wines from the seven appellations that make up the Cru Bourgeois and many of which are already available in the UK.
We are also encouraging WSET and Court of Master Sommeliers’ students to come and taste the wines as it will be an excellent opportunity for them to see so many wines in one tasting.
How can people get more involved in the wines and members of the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc if they would like to follow up with you?
The Crus Bourgeois du Médoc is present on the main social networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and you can also go to our website for our latest news.
We also have a a blog, Bourgeoisetfiersdeletre.com, where different profiles on our winegrowers are published every week. A unique way to go inside the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc family !
Any other news from the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc?
This week, 78% of the members of the Union of the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc agreed to new Cru Bourgeois classification rules set out to them in an Exceptional General Meeting.
This new classification, which should come into place in 2020, will mean any “Cru Bourgeois” wine will have that status for five years rather than the current one year under the previous regulations. There will also be a hierarchy of three levels of quality that they can qualify for.
- To find more information and to register for next week’s London tasting at the The British Academy on September 22 click on the link.