Wine Label Information French Wine Labels 1855 Classification of Sauternes and Barsac

The 1855 Classification of Sauternes and Barsac

The 1855 classification of?Sauternes?and?Barsac?was drawn up at the same time as the most famous 'Bordeaux Classification' (Medoc & Graves 1855). The two were presented together at the?Exposition Universelle de Paris?of that year, at the request of Napoleon III. Twenty-six of the finest sweet white wines from Sauternes and Barsac were classified and ranked according to their market value. Initially there were just two divisions (Premier Cru and Second Cru), but Chateau d'Yquem rated so highly that it was granted its own individual rank, 'Premier Cru Superieur'.

Sauternes and Barsac occupy the southern end of the?Graves?wine district. It was not until 1959 that a stand-alone?Graves Classification?was drawn up for the district's dry wines.