Cheval-Blanc and Ausone Say Adieu to St.-Emilion Classification

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Two iconic wines of Bordeaux, châteaus Cheval-Blanc and Ausone, have withdrawn from the St.-Emilion classification, their decision reverberating through the region like a clap of thunder.

June 30 was the last day to submit the lengthy applications necessary to be considered for the 2022 renewal of the rankings, which are typically reviewed once a decade. To the astonishment of some and resignation of many, two dossiers were missing: Château Cheval-Blanc, owned by LVMH and the Frère family, and Château Ausone, owned by the Vaultier family. Both estates have been ranked in the classification’s top category, Premier Grand Cru Classé A, since the inception of the rankings in the 1950s.

“We had planned on presenting our candidacy, but the list of criteria for evaluation moves too far from what we feel is fundamental: the terroir, the wine, the history. The…

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