The wines of the Saint-Émilion region were classified in 1955, one hundred years after the Médoc. What makes the Saint-Émilion classification unique not just in Bordeaux but all of France is that it is designed to be updated on a regular basis, based primarily on panel tastings. The higher level classifications are updated roughly every 10 years (most recently in 2012), and are based not only on panel tastings but also on château reputation and soil analysis. This rigorous, merit-based system encourages producers to meet and exceed standards, and to make constant improvements in both the vineyards and cellars.
The wines of Saint-Émilion are ranked either as Premiers Grands Crus Classés (A and B) or as Grands Crus Classés.
There are currently 15 Premiers Grands Crus Classés (4 A, 14 B) and 64 Grands Crus Classés.
Visit the Grands Crus Classés de Saint-Émilion website at www.agccse.fr to find out more.