Definition - What does Cru Classe mean?
Cru is the French term for a recognized vineyard, but it is commonly translated as growth. Cru classe is French for classified growth. Cru classe corresponds with the best traditional wines of Bordeaux, France from first growth or premier crus to fifth growth cinquie`mes crus. However, Saint-E`milion, a wine growing region of Bordeaux, follows a different classification system.
WineFrog explains Cru Classe
The wines were to be displayed to visitors from around the world in the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris, and Emperor Napoleon III expressed a desire for a classification system in Bordeaux. Thus, the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 was established. The wines were categorized by wine vendors based on quality, reputation and price. The classification were primarily of two types; the red wines of the Gironde and the white wines of the Gironde. The cru classe classification was from one to five growth, with one being the highest quality.
Given that the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 has changed only twice since its inception in 1855, many wine critics criticize it for being outdated.
The wines from Saint-E`milion, Bordeaux, follow a different classification. This classification has been updated every decade to be updated at all times.