SAINT-EMILION CLASSIFICATION: LOTS OF WINNERS, VERY FEW LOSERS
Saint-Emilion prides itself on being the only wine region to introduce a renewable classification (dating back to 1955), that has become a real driving force behind the global reputation of its wines. The last classification in 2006 suffered a series of setbacks that ended in a law suit. After being suspended, then reinstated and then declared null, the decision was made to extend the validity of the previous classification (1996). Chilled by the whole troublesome experience, local trade bodies handed organisation of the 2012 classification over to INAO. The classification committee in turn passed over the task of examining applications, carrying out checks at the wineries and organising tastings for approximately 1,000 samples to two recognised certifying bodies: Qualisud and Bureau Véritas Certification. The 2012 classification rubber-stamped 82 applications: 64 Grands Crus Classés and 18 Premiers Grands Crus Classés. The selection, which is extremely wide-ranging and politically correct, is unlikely to cause much of a stir locally; the only landmark change was Château Magdeleine that was subsumed into Château Bélair-Monange, both of which belong to Ets Moueix.
Figeac is a key player among the first Grands Crus