Everything You Need to Know About the Crus Bourgeois of Haut-Médoc

At tables around the world, the Crus Bourgeois showcase the finest terroirs of Médoc. Regardless of their winemaking process, blend of grape varieties, or vintage, it’s true that these red wines all share one common trait: high quality accessible to all lovers of Bordeaux vineyards. Here, step into the doors of this renowned classification to discover its long history, its demanding specifications, or the appellations it distinguishes. Among them, Haut-Médoc stands out as a remarkable Cru Bourgeois, epitomized by the wines from our Châteaux Victoria and Le Bourdieu Vertheuil

Château Victoria

Crédit photo : Julien Abellan

The Crus Bourgeois Classification in Bordeaux: A Rich History

To grasp the origins of the Crus Bourgeois, a journey back in time is necessary. In the Middle Ages, the city of Bordeaux was under English control. Wine merchants enjoyed an exemption from duties on their local sales, as well as on the export of their precious nectars. This privilege quickly enabled them to amass considerable wealth. These merchants became known as “bourgeois” to the populace. They used their fortune to purchase the most renowned vineyards of Médoc from the 15th century. Thus, a new nickname for these parcels emerged: “the Crus of the Bourgeois.” Century after century, a classification of these crus gradually took place. However, it wasn’t until 1858 that a work by M. d’Armailhac established a first hierarchy of 248 Crus Bourgeois. This classification evolved over the years, leading to the establishment of a reference classification in 1932, regulated by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture. The foundation stones of the Crus Bourgeois we know today were laid…

Château Victoria Cru Bourgeois

The Crus Bourgeois Classification, A Mark of Excellence in Its Own Right

Today, the Médoc Crus Bourgeois classification is revised every five years. It includes three hierarchical levels (Crus Bourgeois, Crus Bourgeois Supérieurs, Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnels), reflecting the diversity of our wine region. For all these Bordeaux red wines, the “Cru Bourgeois” label is a guarantee of quality, directly indicated near the appellation on the bottle’s label. It is indeed based on a rigorous and objective set of specifications, verified by an independent control body. The different criteria considered can be summarized into three main categories:

  • The quality of the wines, proven through blind tastings;
  • The consistency of the wines, judged according to the aging potential of the vintages;
  • Respect for the environment, attested by the High Environmental Value (HVE) certification of the selected Châteaux.

From these requirements stem rich and sincere wines, perfectly embodying their terroir…

Vendanges Cru Bourgeois

Crédit photo : Julien Abellan

Haut-Médoc, One of the 8 AOCs of Bordeaux Distinguished by the Crus Bourgeois

Since its last revision in 2020, the list of Médoc Crus Bourgeois includes 249 Châteaux, spread across seven Bordeaux appellations: AOC Médoc, of course, but also AOC Listrac-Médoc, AOC Moulis-en-Médoc, AOC Margaux, AOC Saint-Estèphe, AOC Pauillac, and finally, AOC Haut-Médoc.

Located at the gates of Bordeaux, the Haut-Médoc appellation stretches along the left bank of the Gironde over more than 4 hectares. There, its vines benefit from the protective embrace of a temperate oceanic climate. Their roots delve into soils of incredible variety, ranging from deep gravel to clay-limestone.

With its landscapes dotted with renowned wine properties, Haut-Médoc produces particularly complex and delicate Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. It thus embodies the very essence of Bordeaux wine, its history, and its elegance…

Cabernet sauvignon

Château Victoria: A Confidential Cru Bourgeois of Haut-Médoc

Since the official beginnings of the Crus Bourgeois in 1932, Château Victoria has always been honored by this excellence classification. Our Estate is nestled in the heart of the Médoc natural park, a few kilometers from Saint-Estèphe. Its uniqueness lies in its terroir: particularly fine gravel soils laid on a highly filtering limestone plateau. It’s here, under a particularly mild microclimate, that our oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines thrive. Our Château Victoria Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois cuvée is the pure reflection of this superb environment, nurtured with respect for the HVE 3 certification rules. A meticulous parcel-based vinification and a 12-month barrel aging reveal the refined personality of its blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot: its assertive yet smooth palate, draped in notes of black fruits, spices, cocoa, and tobacco, is designed for aging, as well as for pairing with characterful dishes…

Château Victoria & Le Bourdieu Vertheuil

Château Le Bourdieu Vertheuil: A Historic Haut-Médoc Cru Bourgeois

Another Cru Bourgeois of Haut-Médoc, another fascinating wine heritage… It was 11th-century monks who planted the first vines of Bourdieu Vertheuil: in its slightly sandy clay-limestone soil, the plant transcends itself. In 1936, the Château was thus recognized by the Crus Bourgeois classification. Since 1989, the vines and vinification of its unique cuvée have been carefully overseen by the same team as that of Château Victoria: constant care, parcel by parcel, that magnifies the fruits of its remarkable terroir. The 2016 vintage of Château Le Bourdieu Vertheuil thus reveals captivating aromas of violet, cherry, and pepper at the tasting, carried by a beautiful roundness and a long grilled finish…

Château Victoria et Le Bourdieu Vertheuil

Now that you are acquainted with the main secrets of the Haut-Médoc wines classified as Crus Bourgeois, all that remains is to taste them to fully appreciate their delicious elegance. And in the meantime, why not continue your exploration by (re)discovering other Bordeaux wine appellations?