Tuesday, 20 April 2021

Crus Bourgeois - Bordeaux’s hidden gems?

The last year has been odd to put it mildly. Many of the things that we previously took for granted - and often under-appreciated - we simply haven’t been able to do. For very good reason, as we have had to keep people safe and this has meant sacrifices across the board. Nonetheless, the absence of many of the things that we used to do will have left a holes in a lot of our lives. 
For me one such thing has been the ability to attend wine industry events. There has been great innovation from the industry through the rapid development of online tastings and at-home sampling sessions, but quite frankly I have missed the ability to walk through a room, meet the people who make all of this amazing wine that we love, talk to them about their wares and, of course, try their wines. One event I have always looked forward to is the yearly Crus Bourgeois Bordeaux tasting. It was always held in such lovely venues, I tended to bump into friends there and also it was a great opportunity to try these exciting wines. 


Steven Spurrier with his Bride Valley wine
I am reflecting on this with a slight melancholy this year as it was at a Crus Bourgeois tasting a few years back that I first met Steven Spurrier (who recently passed away). Of course, he was dressed up in a very dashing suit resplendent with a pocket square, and I was far too star struck to introduce myself to him. Fortunately I put that right at a later event where he was exhibiting his Bride Valley sparkling wine and it was wonderful to meet the great man.
For obvious reasons the usual Crus Bourgeois tasting couldn’t take place in 2020, however I was very lucky that I was sent a few bottles to try out this year by my good friends at Phillips Hill Wine PR (many thanks to Jo, Louise, and the team). A great opportunity to reacquaint myself with these wines and a reminder of why I would recommend that you check them out for yourself. Worth also noting that the 2020 Bordeaux En Primeur offerings will be out shortly - definitely worth checking out as 2020 was a very promising vintage (despite all the Corona challenges). 

What are Cru Bourgeois wines?

Before I tell you about the wines I tasted, a little bit of background and information to set the scene. Crus Bourgeois wines are a classification of wines used in the Medoc, which is on the left bank of the Bordeaux wine region. This region is renowned for its classified growth wines, a system established in 1855 of five classes of wine, representing wines of exceptional quality. The Crus Bourgeois is a very recent addition, which seeks to provide a framework and a promise of quality of wines that sit below the classified growths. This makes them necessarily a lot more wallet-friendly then the wines classified in the 1855 system - more on that below.


Image taken from the Crus Bourgeois association
It is fair to say that the system for establishing the Crus Bourgeois system has not been smooth sailing and there have been a few revisions to the system over the last few years since it was first launched in 2010. However in 2020 an agreement was made on the longer term structure for this system. Wines will be reviewed every five years for quality and consistency, and will be grouped into three levels of increasing quality: Crus Bourgeois, Crus Bourgeois Superieur, Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnel. Encouragingly environmental sustainability is one of the significant factors in the grading. The whole Bordeaux region is making remarkable strides in this field - which is great to see. To achieve the higher accolades there is a significant amount of scientific and sensory testing that takes place, including tasting by an independent jury. It is a pyramid system of quality; in 2020 249 estates were classified: 179 were awarded Crus Bourgeois status, 56 were awarded Crus Bourgeois Superieur and only 14 were awarded Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnel. This is big business if you want to receive the highest levels! The 2020 awards will stay with the estates for five years when all will be re-assessed. 

What wines did I try?

I tried three wines - all of them from the Haut-Medoc region. For each of them I’ll indicate the grading the estate received in the 2020 classification (although noting that these classifications only apply to the 2018 vintage onwards, so the wines below are all technically Crus Bourgeois), the grape varieties used in them, along with the price point and where you can buy them.

First up was a 2016 Chateau D’Aurilhac (2020 categorisation - Crus Bourgeois; 49% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petit Verdot, 2.5% Cabernet Franc), £18.50 from Lea and Sandeman. Sitting a nice deep ruby in the glass, it was quite light and pretty on the nose with blackcurrant and blueberry notes, accompanied by touches of smokiness. I also thought I detected a slightly floral note to the wine. On the palate, the tannins were soft. I was immediately struck by how well balanced the wine was, which gave rise to an impressively long finish. Primary notes were dark fruits (mainly black cherry), but the savoury notes were there to give the wine its balance.


Next up was a 2015 Chateau de Malleret (2020 categorisation - Crus Bourgeois Exceptionnel; 56% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot), £24.50 from Lea and Sandeman. This was a lot deeper in the glass - a properly dark crimson to it. A little bit spicier and more exotic on the nose, it had the same dark fruit notes - but I felt with added concentration. To taste this was certainly a bigger wine. More tannic structure to it, but accompanied by a more luxurious mouth-feel. I felt that the wine had a much deeper and more savoury after-taste - slightly more ”serious“ than the first wine, but that does not mean that the wine was less enjoyable. The finish was similarly long. This was my pick of the three wines.

Last up I tried a 2011 Chateau Lamothe-Bergeron (2020 categorisation - Crus Bourgeois Superieur; 50% Merlot, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon), £14.19 from Co-op. You could tell this wine had more age on it than the other two, it was brick red/brown around the edges, but a faint ruby red in the middle. Lovely ripe berry fruit on the nose, but there were some accompanying savoury notes to add depth to the bouquet. On tasting the tannins had all but gone, but there was some decent acidity to the wine still which gave it some structure. This was a very pleasant wine to drink, not overly showy - but in the perfect spot for drinking now - and also priced very reasonably.


Overall, I was very impressed with these wines. They were all wines of great quality and with them all being priced at under £25/bottle, I feel they represent excellent value. To get into the classified growths you are looking at spending £50/bottle and up (and up and up!). These are well made wines that will go with food wonderfully, but also make for great drinking on their own with friends (now that we can do that kind of thing again…). 

I think it’s interesting that all of the wines were made up of a large amount of Merlot, something that the left bank is not known for. I suspect that is a deliberate ploy to make the wines softer and more approachable. These aren’t wines to be collected and hoarded away for years before you finally open them - they are wines designed to be drunk and give pleasure. I’d definitely recommend checking them out. If you find any good ones let us know in the comments below!




I was sent these wines as a press sample (thank you again Jo and Louise!). The opinions contained within this article are my own. 


  1. Which includes the great customer support i have ever received, they may be really one of the great! Counseled to all! Addiction treatment Tennessee

    1. Your article and tips are incredibly interesting, are helping me a lot. It's very informative. Thanks for the detailed info on this topic. It’s hard to find nowadays to know about the basics but you did it so much well. I would love to see more about GBWhatsapp 2022. Keep sharing and updated. Also share more posts with us. Thank you.

  2. A lot of students have this question, can you write my assignment? If you searching homework or marketing assignment help services. Then you are at the right place to get effective and helpful assignment writing services provided by all over world professional academic writers. GoAssignmentHelp.com is known for our impressive quality of work. Students around the globe prefer our assignment helps services as we provide them the excellent features and benefits. You can submit your request online and get the solution within the shortest time. We guarantee quality and satisfaction. Our website is made easy to understand and use so that students do not waste time browsing for the information about any topic they searches. All the subjects are listed on each page of the website. Don’t waste your time, simply order your assignment topic with us and our experts will be working on your economics assignment help content with his unmatched quality of assignment help.

  3. I feel relief to find someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on this subject. I will recommend this blog to some friends. Also read from our site: Florida Lottery Results

  4. I always find very much interesting content on your posts. keep posting, thanks for sharing with us and giving us your precious time. You may also like short prayer for grieving friend

  5. Great post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
    Extremely helpful info particularly the last part :) I care for such info
    a lot. I was seeking this particular information for
    a long time. Thank you and good luck.바카라


  6. When you write an essay, a term paper or a research assignment, keep in mind that the reason purchase university assignments of assigning this task to you is to evaluate your abilities and your writing skills

  7. I am grateful to this blog site providing special as well as useful understanding concerning this subject.
    Try to check my webpage on online photo frame

  8. Do you buy any other affiliate products? If you are going to buy any other affiliate products, especially if they are not from the one you are promoting, then you need to verify the seller's credentials first. You should also check their package prices to ensure you are not being overcharged for the shipping of your product. Sometimes, these package prices are misleading because they have added a lot of other items inside. You should only buy from a seller with a proven record of quality, so you can use their package prices to gauge whether or not they are truly offering genuine products at buy tiktok likes.

  9. Discover beautiful places, hidden gems of Bordeaux such as the Espace Darwin, a huge cultural project that is changing the image and identity of Bordeaux but also delicious wine bars such as Pay To Write Research Paper Max Bordeaux, a cinema in a former convent (Cinema Utopia Bordeaux), a typical and beautiful perfumery (Opera perfumery), a Sino- ...

  10. Really enjoyed your blog. Thanks for sharing the information with us! If you are looking for a Belkin.setup n300, you’ll find it on our website. There is also much other essential information regarding the Belkin routers that you’ll find on our website.

  11. What a blog, I really like to thank blog author for the wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.
    one of the top uk cosmetics products for skin care. Must try these, Highly Recommended.

    indian healing clay
    gorilla snot
    creme of nature
    shea moisture uk
    jerome russell silver toner

    brylcreem gel cream
    dudu osun

  12. It is a fantastic post – immense clear and easy to understand. I am also holding out for the sharks too that made me laugh. Spinel, Peridot

  13. The actual query concerning just what halfway home is actually usually requested whenever somebody is within difficulty or even scans of these within the information. Sober Living Near Me

  14. Technologistan is the popoular and most trustworthy resource for technology, telecom, business and auto news in Pakistan

  15. Dispensary care is Weed what many people lack in the interior areas of the world. Weed, can help you recover shortly. marijuana. people face a lot of health issues everyday without solution. Weed However, marijuana has always been a perfect remedy for ill health. Nevertheless, cocaine may also help.

  16. Although Maryland drug rehabs can also additionally range, all of them have one not unusualplace intention; to assist people get over drug and alcohol troubles.Drug Rehab

  17. treu skincare
    This paraben and wax-free formula offers intense moisturizing, styling manageability, lightweight hold, frizz control and shine. Elongate and define curls for softer, shinier hair after this...

  18. amethyst chrome hair dye
    Complete your look with striking colour intensity. Discover maximum colour depth with cool tones, metallic shine and an anti-fade effect. Metallic Shine Booster - The Metallic...

  19. Black SkinCare
    Topiclear Cocoa Butter Cream contains 2% Cocoa Butter for moisturizing, 2% Hydroquinone for skin lightening, and 0.5% sunscreen agent, among many other fine ingredients. Gradually fades...