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The Bordeaux Wine Classification of 1855 - Châteaus and Values

Understanding the Wines of Bordeaux 

Understanding the wines of Bordeaux and their often inflated value means having a basic understanding of the way they're classified.

Bordeaux Classification of 1855

There are several classifications to know about, but the big one is the original Classification of 1855, ordered by Emporer Napoleon III, which originally ranked 59 estates (now 61) located almost exclusively in the Médoc, Bordeaux's northern, Left Bank epicentre where 4 of its 5 first-growths are located.

The big thing to note is that this ranking is more than 150 years old. Since 1855 a lot has changed within the many châteaus that populate this list. Some have remained as intoxicating as they were originally thought, some have increased their reputation, and some have gone down hill.

The 1855 classification places these 61 châteaus into five categories - or cru classé. The best wines ranked as First-Growth down to the worst of the best, Fifth-Growth. Remember, beyond these 61 estates there are dozens of other non-ranked chateaus and wineries in and around the Médoc.

Of the 61 châteaus featured only one comes from outside of the Medoc - the 1st Growth Château Haut-Brion, located just south of the city of Bordeaux in Pessac-Léognan. 

Be sure to check out our video on this: Caves Wine Shop YouTube Video on Bordeaux Classification of 1855.

Which Bordeaux Wines Are the Most Expensive?

As far as present-day value of these wines, the 1855 Classification still plays a massive role. It is common to see the five First Growths (Château Margaux, Château Latour, Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild, and Château Haut-Brion) fetch huge sums of money in restaurants, retail spaces, and international auctions. These are highly prized wines in very high demand sought by collectors, investors, and beyond for cellars around the globe. 

Which Bordeaux Wines Give You the Best Value?

Beyond the First-Growths, you can often find better value in the Second and Third-Growths with estates like Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Château Pichon Baron, Château Pichon Comtesse de Lalande, and Château Calon Ségur, just to name a few. These wines still fetch a hefty price tag for the average wine drinker, but if you're looking to experience the splendor of Bordeaux wines, this is a good place to start.

What Should You Look for When Buying a Bordeaux?

When considering the bottle, vintage can play a big part. We tend to err on the side of age as many of these wines can handle several decades without a problem. Assuming they have been stored in proper conditions, they should only get better with the years and give you all that you hope for in wines of this stature.

Of course, these aren't wines that the average Joe or Jane drinks every night, but for a special occasion, they are truly great experiences that anyone interested in wine should have. 

Full List of Bordeaux Wine




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Bordeaux First-Growths

Château Haut-Brion, Pessac, AOC Pessac-Léognan

Château Lafite-Rothschild, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Latour, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Margaux, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Mouton Rothschild, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Bordeaux Second-Growths

Château Brane-Cantenac, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Cos-d’Estournel, Saint-Estèphe, AOC Saint-Estèphe

Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Durfort-Vivens, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Gruaud-Larose, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Lascombes, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Léoville-Barton, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Léoville-Las-Cases, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Léoville-Poyferré, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Montrose, Saint-Estèphe, AOC Saint-Estèphe

Château Pichon-Longueville-Baron-de-Pichon, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse-de-Lalande, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Rauzan-Ségla, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Rauzan-Gassies, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Bordeaux Third-Growths

Château Boyd-Cantenac, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Calon-Ségur, Saint-Estèphe, AOC Saint-Estèphe

Château Cantenac-Brown, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Desmirail, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Ferrière, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Giscours, Labarde, AOC Margaux

Château d’Issan, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Kirwan, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Lagrange, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château La Lagune, Ludon, AOC Haut-Médoc

Château Langoa-Barton, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Malescot-Saint-Exupéry, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Marquis-d’Alesme, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Palmer, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Bordeaux Fourth-Growths

Château Beychevelle, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Branaire-Ducru, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Duhart-Milon, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Lafon-Rochet, Saint-Estèphe, AOC Saint-Estèphe

Château Marquis-de-Terme, Margaux, AOC Margaux

Château Pouget, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Prieuré-Lichine, Cantenac, AOC Margaux

Château Saint-Pierre, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château Talbot, Saint-Julien-Beychevelle, AOC Saint-Julien

Château La Tour-Carnet, Saint-Laurent-de-Médoc, AOC Haut-Médoc


Bordeaux Fifth-Growths

Château d’Armailhac, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Batailley, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Belgrave, Saint-Laurent-de-Médoc, AOC Haut-Médoc

Château Camensac, Saint-Laurent-de-Médoc, AOC Haut-Médoc

Château Cantemerle, Macau, AOC Haut-Médoc

Château Clerc-Milon, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Cos-Labory, Saint-Estèphe, AOC Saint-Estèphe

Château Croizet-Bages, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Dauzac, Labarde, AOC Margaux

Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Haut-Bages-Libéral, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Haut-Batailley, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Lynch-Bages, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Pédesclaux, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château Pontet-Canet, Pauillac, AOC Pauillac

Château du Tertre, Arsac, AOC Margaux

Be sure to browse our selection of French wine online, you may be lucky to snag one of our best Bordeaux - if it's still available.