Château Rollan de By exits the Médoc Crus Bourgeois

Wednesday November 20 2019 by Vitisphere

“With my four properties [selected], I used to be one of the most influential members of the Crus Bourgeois” said Jean Guyon, speaking in the past tense.“With my four properties [selected], I used to be one of the most influential members of the Crus Bourgeois” said Jean Guyon, speaking in the past tense. - Photo credit : DR

It’s Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel or nothing. After applying to be part of the five-year Médoc Crus Bourgeois classification (due to be unveiled in February 2020, with three levels: Cru Bourgeois, Supérieur and Exceptionnel), Château Rollan de By has decided to withdraw from the selection process. “I entered an application and when I got the feedback from the blind tastings, I was told that my wines were classified as 4, outside the Crus Bourgeois rankings. But a week after I paid 500 euros [for a new tasting on appeal], I was suddenly told that my château could become a Cru Bourgeois after all. Who are these tasters? This is not professional!” ranted Jean Guyon, who heads up Rollan de By estates.

Feeling that the reputation of his property was sufficiently well-established among critics and consumers, Jean Guyon was hoping his main château (80 hectares producing 450,000 bottles/year in AOC Médoc) would be classified as a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel. On top of the resentment that led him to withdraw from the classification, despite “the fantastic idea of a hierarchy to give new impetus to the Crus Bourgeois”, Jean Guyon has fired a salvo of criticism at the scheme.

Opening up to the world

He claims, “The problem with the classification is that it is managed by the QualiBordeaux tasting panel. No one knows who these judges are, but we are sure that the world’s great critics and sommeliers are not amongst them. Tasting sessions should not be held behind closed doors by a branch of the Bordeaux wine industry. They should be taken out to the world by a panel [of influencers meeting] out in the open”.

 

 

 

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