Medocis situated on the east coast of the Atlantic and along the west bank of Gironde Estuary. Perfectly located at 45 Degrees N Latitude, the area enjoys abundant sunshine, favorable temperature, moderate rainfall and rich soil composed of sand, gravel, clay, pebbles and rubble, which are extremely suitable for growing wine grape.
Medoc wines are varied mixed wines made from different grape varieties, which expresses their typical characters. Cabernet Sauvignon, one of these varieties, began to appear in Bordeaux region in the 18th century. Medoc, with its poor gravel and sandy soil which drains well and good weather with frequent breezes, is very suitable for Cabernet Sauvignon cultivation.Cabernet Sauvignon is a vigorous, humidity-resistant and late-maturing crop. It can be used to vinify elegant wines with deep red color and rich tannins. These wines are also famous for subtle notes of spice, violet and cedar, and have great potential. Merlot, another grape variety, has a round, fruity and cool taste. Wines made from Cabernet Franc have a delicate vinous nose and bright color.
Petit Verdot is grown in small quantity yet brings wines with new vitality. It has a sweet note of violet and a little acidity, and adds a beautiful tone to wines. Medoc has produced a diversity of quality wine by blending various kinds of grape varieties, which offers people different fun in wine-tasting.
Grand Crus Classe
The ruler Napoleon III wanted to promote Bordeaux to the rest of the world in the 1855 Paris World Expo, and then ordered Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce to complete this mission in the form of exhibitions.Later the Chamber entrusted the important mission to Syndicat of Courtiers, a wine agent.
On April 18, 1855, Syndicat of Courtiers selected 58 chateaux as the Grand Cru Classe according to the prestige and wine price of each chateau in Bordeaux. They classified the chateaux into five classifications, including 4 First Growths (Premier Grand Cru Classe or Premiers Crus), namely Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Haut-Brion and Chateau Margaux, 12 Second Growths (Deuxiemes Crus), 14 Third Growths (Troisiemes Crus), 11 Fourth Growths (Troisiemes Crus) and 17 Fifth Growths (Cinquiemes Crus). All these chateaux are in Medoc region except a First Growths Chateau Haut-Brion located in the Grave region.
The list of Grand Cru Classe was revised once in 1973. Whether or not the chateaux had changed their names or owners,or whether they had been divided or merged, their grading remained almost the same with the exception of Mouton- Rothschild, which climbed from the Second Growth to the First Growth under its master Baron Philippe’s decades of efforts.
Now, the number of Grand Crus Classe has increased to 61, of which 5 are First Growths, 14 Second Growths, 14 Third Growths, 10 Fourth Growths and 18 Fifth Growth. Among the 61 Grand Crus Classe, Margaux region ranks the first with 21 chateaux.
The Cru Bourgeois classification lists some of the chateaux from the Médoc that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classés, or Classed Growths. Notionally, Cru Bourgeois is a level below Cru Classe, but still of high quality (formerly there were additional grades of Cru Artisan and Cru Paysan). Many wine writers consider that there is some overlap in quality between the Classed Growths and the Cru Bourgeois, although also saying that by and large the Classed Growths still represent the best wines.
The first Cru Bourgeois list was drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Agriculture in 1932, selecting 444 estates for the classification. The words Cru Bourgeois were widely used on labels by the chateaux so listed, although the classification was never officially ratified. A substantial revision of the classification, dividing it into three tiers, was initiated in 2000 and finalised in 2003. This reduced the number of chateaux listed to 247. Following several legal turns, the 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification was annulled by the French court in 2007, and shortly afterwards all use of the term was banned.
In 2010, the Cru Bourgeois label was reintroduced, but in a significantly revised form. It now consists of only one level, and is awarded annually, as a mark of quality, to wines rather than to chateaux, on the basis of an assessment of both production methods and the finished product. Any property in the Medoc may apply. The lists are published approximately 2 years after the vintage.
Wines labeled as Medoc Cru Bourgeois are highly favored in China market and well recognized by mass consumers: the steadily rising sales volume, stable price even in the best vintages, sufficient production from famous appellations and the diversity of the wines, all of which are the prerequisites to meet the demands of the huge China market.
Cru Artisan is an old name, in which the “Artisan” refers to“Artists”. Cru Artisan originated in France as early as the middle of the 19th century and was officially recognized by European Union in 2002. Since the French began to reformulate the laws and regulations of Cru Artisan in 2006, Cru Artisan has formally become a French official wine legal rating. Today, Cru Artisan wines are produced in Medoc appellations only with small grape planting scale covering less area, which can be frequently found around the Grand Cru Classe. Most Cru Artisan wines are of high quality with competitive price. Totally, there are 44 chateaux which are officially ratifiedby the French Cru Artisan.
Petits Cru refers to those family-owned and family-run chateaux that are less dominant on covering area, chateaux prestige or wine price. However, the wines made inmany good quality Petits Chateaux are the best