Wine Label Information French Wine Labels 1855 Classification of Medoc & Graves

The 1855 Classification of Medoc & Graves

The 1855 classification of Bordeaux wines was created at the request of Napoleon III, to be presented at the?Exposition Universelle de Paris. Showcasing the very best French wines, the classification ranked sixty top Bordeaux reds; fifty-nine from the?Medoc?and one from?Graves. The original rankings still stand 160 years later, with only one change; the promotion of Chateau Mouton Rothschild to Premier Cru status in 1973. The classification also picked out the fourteen finest sweet whites from Sauternes and Barsac - listed separately in their own?Sauternes Classification (1855).

Although the 1855 Classification theoretically covered both the Medoc and Graves, only one Graves wine (Haut-Brion) made it into the rankings. A stand-alone?Graves Classification?was not put together until 1959.