Saint-EMilion’s Reclassification of Pavie and Angelus Turns the Bordeaux Big 8 Into the Big 10


Having spent a year and a half revising the Saint-Emilion appellation of Bordeaux, the INAO, or Institut National des Appellations d’Origine, have finally announced their new classification. For serious wine investors, the most interesting aspect of this re-classification has been the addition of Chateau Pavie alongside Chateau Angelus into the upper echelons of Saint- amilion. Previously only including Chateau Cheval Blanc and Chateau Ausone, these two wines are now share the distinction of a Premier grand cru classe. In a statement to the press, the INAO said their “consistency in quality and their quest for excellence” has earned them this accolade. Judged by price and reputation, the viticulture of these wines has improved immensely.

Robert Parker, Jr., has claimed that the Chateau Pavie 2000 is “one of the most monumental wines Bordeaux has ever produced.” In fact since it changed hands in 1998, ten vintages have been awarded above 95 Parker Points, which anyone can argue is one of the best efforts of any Chateau since the turn of the century. Much of this can be attributed to the expertise of owner Gerald Perse, who has created a windfall by purchasing Pavie for $30 million, now valued by Liv-Ex at over $210 million, a very similar value to that of other classe newcomer Chateau Angelus.

Having been omitted from the 1855 classification of Bordeaux by the merchants at the time, it could be argued the right bank and especially Saint-Emilion has been one of the most overlooked wine-producing areas in the world. The values of right bank wines in the past have not been as uniform as those of the left bank, however since Perse has been at the helm of Pavie, and perhaps slightly longer for Chateau Angelus, they have produced vintages of consistent quality that have earned them the reputation – and re-classification – they deserve. However both the top-tiered newcomers have a much smaller price tag, surely an alluring prospect for wine investors and collectors alike who might find them both much more approachable.

In layman’s terms, the 2011 market value of the well-established Ausone’s and Cheval Blanc’s were between four and eight times greater than the values of Pavie and Angelus, according to the London International Vintner’s Exchange. This means that wines that are all in the same class of appellation have a huge disparity in monetary value, which some investors see as incredible opportunity for capital growth. Although their reputation may not be as powerful as their left bank counterparts, classe Saint-Emilion wines have been considered to be on par with the First Growth wines as part of the Big 8. Will these two newcomers join their exclusive ranks and force us to adopt the term Big 10? Only time will tell!


Source by Alexander Westgarth