Premier Cru

Definition - What does Premier Cru mean?

Under the "Cru" classification system implemented during the Wine Classification of 1855, by order of Emperor Napoleon III, the wines of Bordeaux were to be differentiated by determinable aspects. Wines were to be ranked according to their winery's reputation and price at which they were traded. While the original classification began in Bordeaux, other wine regions of France adopted it as well. Crus are ranked in the following order according to the appellation, sub-appellation, village appellation and regional appellation. Primier Cru is synonymous with "First Growth"

The following is a list of the Premier Crus (aka First Growths) of designated wine regions in France.

Bordeaux Crus:

  • Chateau Lafite (now Chateau Lafite Rothschild)
  • Chateau Latour
  • Chateau Margaux
  • Chateau Haut-Brion
  • Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Burgundy Crus:

*In Burgundy, the cru classification system also includes that of the vineyards themselves and not only the wine houses. The list includes some well-known wine makers and estates, but there are many more.

  • Chablis
  • Chambertin
  • Charmes-Chambertin
  • Musigny
  • Clos de Vougeot
  • La Tache
  • La Romanee-Conti
  • Corton
  • Montrachet

Some Champagne Crus:

  • Ambonnay
  • Avize
  • Ay
  • Bouzy
  • Chouilly
  • Tours-sur-Marne

WineFrog explains Premier Cru

The classification of French wine is never an easy subject to understand. However, if you are familiar with the Wine Official Classification of 1855, Primier Cru is to also say that these wines and the estates that make the wines who fall under the Primier Cru classification are the best of the best. It was decided that the selected estates had built a reputation for quality wine and fruit and were coveted on the international market at high market prices.

There are a total of five cru classification levels; Primier cru, Deuxiemes Crus (Second Growth), Troisiemes Crus (Third Growth), Quatriemes Crus (Fourth Growth), Cinquiemes Crus (Fifth Growth).

Only red wines were classified, as at the time, it was much more important. Only those white wines of sweet Sauternes and Barsac were among the ranking, placed in first and second growth.

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