Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B
Taking pride in Château Beau-Séjour Bécot
Perhaps what comes to mind when you hear about classifications of vineyards is the famous five chateaux of Médoc on the Left Bank of Bordeaux. However, there are classifications in another part of Bordeaux: Saint-Emilion on the Right Bank. Unlike Médoc, which has continued in a “semi-permanent” state since its classification in 1855, Saint-Emilion has been classified irregularly every ten to fifteen years. Holding out hope that it will eventually be elevated in a higher class, each of its chateaux has continued its efforts to produce ever-higher quality wines, both to aim for a higher status and to not lose the current ranking.
Saint-Emilion currently has several chateaux that rank at the top classification of Premier Grand Cru Classé A, including Château Ausone and Château Cheval-Blanc. Next is the Premier Grand Cru Classé B vineyards such as the popular Château Canon and Clos Fourtet. Then comes the Grand Cru Classé, which can be most easily understood by comparing it to the Cru Bourgeois winemakers in Médoc.
Of the region’s many chateaux, we would like to focus on Château Beau-Séjour Bécot, which is ranked Premier Grand Cru Classé B. This chateau was actually demoted from Premier Grand Cru Classé to Grand Cru Classé in 1985. This kind of “downgrade” is a major blow to a chateau’s reputation, and the owner Dominique Bécot felt terribly about it and decided to start from scratch. Focusing on “healthy grapes,” he made improvements such as limiting the harvest volume of the vineyard. He also welcomed as a consultant Michel Rolland, who had earned a reputation for his red wine, and began producing wonderful wines again. As a result, the chateau regained its Premier Grand Cru Classé status in 1996.
The ranking system in Saint-Emilion is a little different from that of Médoc. Its sense of “real and now” make it especially appealing. Keep this in mind as you enjoy Saint-Emilion’s wines, and you’ll surely notice their distinctive charms.
(Text: Kimiko Anzai)
Contact: Pieroth Japan (Château Beau-Séjour Bécot) Tel : 03-3458-4455