Château Ausone dubs St Emilion classification ‘a mess’

10th April, 2013 by Lucy Shaw

Pauline Vauthier, winemaker and co-manager of Château Ausone, has gone on record to voice her anger over the St Emilion classification, dubbing it “a big mess.”

Saint-Emilion

Saint-Emilion

Last September, Pavie and Angélus were promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé A status, joining Ausone and Cheval Blanc at the top of the tier.

During an en primeur tasting of Ausone last week, Vautheir told the drinks business about her dissatisfaction with and disapproval of the re-classification.

“The whole thing is a big mess and a mistake. I don’t even use the “Premier Grand Cru Classé A” title on our marketing material anymore as I’m keen to distance myself from the situation.

“A lot of mistakes were made in the reclassification and now the lawyers are involved.

Three châteaux are challenging the ranking, which could throw the whole thing into disrepute – we’ll find out the answer in three weeks,” she said.

Promoted: Angélus

Promoted: Angélus

The Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO) is facing legal challenges from three demoted estates: Croque-Michotte, Corbin-Michotte and La Tour-du-Pin-Figeac.

All three filed individual appeals to a Bordeaux administrative tribunal in January demanding the annulment of the classification.

Meanwhile, Pierre-Olivier Clouet, technical director of Château Cheval Blanc, told db he was equally skeptical about the classification.

“I’m not sure it’s a good thing. It’s seems too easy that if you ask to be promoted you get it. Having too many Premier Grand Cru Classé As is not good for St Emilion’s image.

“I think Angélus was promoted more for its notoriety than the quality of its terroir. It’s at the bottom of the hill, that hasn’t and won’t ever change,” he said.

“Hubert de Bouard did a great job with getting his wine into Casino Royale and was president of the St Emilion Syndicate for nine years – it’s all very political,” he said.

Following the initial challenge to this classification at the end of 2012, Alain Moueix, president of the St Emilion Grands Crus Classés Association, defended its methods in an interview with the drinks business. However, members of the UK trade have expressed concern about the classification’s limited emphasis on terroir.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

Commercial/Sales Manager

Crush Wines Ltd
Bremhill/Home office, GB

Wine Buyer

Adnams
Southwold, UK

Sales Manager - Scotland

Eurowines Ltd
Scotland

Sales Manager - North-West England

Eurowines Ltd
North-West England, UK

Sales Manager - London

Eurowines Ltd
London, UK

Key Account Manager - Grocery

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Key Accounts Manager - Impulse

Australian Vintage Limited
London (Croydon), UK

Business Development Manager

Regency Wines Ltd
North Devon & Somerset, UK

Sales Manager - North East England

Eurowines Ltd
Within 15-20 mile radius of York, UK

National Account Manager

Ehrmanns Wines
London, UK

London Account Manager

The Drinks Club
London, UK

London Sales Executive

Gourvid Limited
London and Greater London, GB

Logistics Administrator

Speciality Drinks Ltd
Park Royal, London, UK

Head of Sales - Hush Heath Estate

Hush Heath Estate
Kent/ London, UK

London Sales Executive

VDS UK Ltd
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 2nd May 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

Deadline : 12th May 2017

Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2016

Now in its fourth year, the competition will identify the best Chardonnay from all around the world in every price range.

Rioja Masters 2016

Now in its fifth year, the competition will recognise and reward the finest Riojas on the world stage.

Fortified Masters 2016

Now in its third year, The Fortified Masters will reward the best fortified wines on offer.

The Global Malbec Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2016.

Click to view more