THE BORDEAUX 1855 CLASSIFICATION

The Médoc classification system was created by Bordeaux's wine brokers for the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle and remains almost unchanged to this day. While much of the ranking is still relevant, the performance of some chateaux has evolved over time. Some chateaux now outperform their classification, such as Flying Fifths including Pontet Canet, Lynch Bages and Grand Puy Lacoste.
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Bordeaux's wine brokers needed a formal tool that they could use to better market their wines to the general public. The châteaux were divided into 5 different classified growths – first being highest, fifth being lowest. Their classification was based on price alone. Haut Brion was the only château from the Graves to be included, possibly because it was the most famous at the time. Other châteaux from that sub-region were outlined in another classification in 1959.

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Despite its age, it is still used as a reference guide, although some châteaux have shifted their reputations and comparative prices since. Over the years only one château has formally moved to a higher classification: in 1973 after years of trying to prove worthy stature, Mouton Rothschild was finally promoted to first growth from second growth. As a result, the logo on their labels changed from “Premier ne puis, second ne daigne, Mouton suis” (“First I cannot be, second I will not call myself, Mouton I am”) to “Premier je suis, second je fus, Mouton ne change” (“First I am, second I was, Mouton does not change”).

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FIRST GROWTHS

• Château Lafite Rothschild, Pauillac
• Château Latour, Pauillac
• Château Margaux, Margaux
• Château Haut-Brion, Graves
• Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac (reclassified from Second Growth status in 1973)

second GROWTHS

• Château Saint-Pierre, St.-Julien
• Château Talbot, St.-Julien
• Château Branaire-Ducru, St.-Julien
• Château Duhart-Milon-Rothschild, Pauillac
• Château Pouget, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château La Tour Carnet, St.-Laurent (Haut-Médoc)
• Château Lafon-Rochet, St.-Estèphe
• Château Beychevelle, St.-Julien
• Château Prieuré-Lichine, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux





THIRD GROWTHS

• Château Kirwan, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château d'Issan, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château Lagrange, St.-Julien
• Château Langoa Barton, St.-Julien
• Château Giscours, Labarde-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château Malescot St. Exupéry, Margaux
• Château Cantenac-Brown, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château Boyd-Cantenac, Margaux
• Château Palmer, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château La Lagune, Ludon (Haut-Medoc)
• Château Desmirail, Margaux
• Château Calon-Ségur, St.-Estèphe
• Château Ferrière, Margaux
• Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker, Margaux

FOURTH GROWTH

• Château Saint-Pierre, St.-Julien
• Château Talbot, St.-Julien
• Château Branaire-Ducru, St.-Julien
• Château Duhart-Milon-Rothschild, Pauillac
• Château Pouget, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château La Tour Carnet, St.-Laurent (Haut-Médoc)
• Château Lafon-Rochet, St.-Estèphe
• Château Beychevelle, St.-Julien
• Château Prieuré-Lichine, Cantenac-Margaux (Margaux)
• Château Marquis de Terme, Margaux








FIFTH GROWTH

• Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac
• Château Batailley, Pauillac
• Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac
• Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac
• Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac
• Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac
• Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac
• Château Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac
• Château Dauzac, Labarde (Margaux)
• Château d'Armailhac, Pauillac
• Château du Tertre, Arsac (Margaux)
• Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac
• Château Belgrave, St.-Laurent (Haut-Médoc)
• Château de Camensac, St.-Laurent (Haut-Médoc)
• Château Cos Labory, St.-Estèphe
• Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac
• Château Croizet Bages, Pauillac
• Château Cantemerle, Macau (Haut-Médoc) (added in 1856)