Bordeaux châteaux Cheval Blanc and Ausone have withdrawn from the official St. Emilion classification system.
As reported by thedrinksbusiness.com and The Times, the two châteaux have withdrawn the classification system because they believe that it has come to be based more on the estates' social media presence than on the quality of the wines.
Châteaux Representatives Statements
Cheval Blanc director Pierre Lurton told The Times, "The evaluation was getting too far removed from what seemed fundamental to us - the terroir, wine, history."
Ausone Technical director Pauline Vauthier told The Times, "The terroir and tasting part of the assessment was too small in comparison with the marketing and the social media."
Classification System Information
Ausone and Cheval Blanc, which is owned by LVMH head Bernard Arnault, were the only two estates awarded the top honour of grand cru classé "A" status when the classification system was created in 1955, and the departure of the system's top two châteaux reportedly threatens to undermine the credibility of the classification and could put the 2022 classification in jeopardy.
The classification is revised every decade and includes three grades - grand cru classé, premier grand cru classé "B" and premier grand cru classé "A".
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