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Grand Cru Classé

Collective term for the Médoc vineyards classified in the Bordeaux Classification of 1855 with five classes (Premier, Deuxième, Troisième, Quatrième and Cinquième Cru Classé). The wineries not classified as Premier or at least Deuxième usually do not explicitly state their rank on the label, but in the neutral form "Grand Cru Classe en 1855". The less well-known Deuxièmes, however, often point out their status in order to be renowned. In 1973, Baron Philippe de Rothschild did not miss the opportunity to document the increase from second to first rank with "Premier je suis, Second je fus, Mouton ne change" (I am first, I was second, Mouton does not change) on the label designed by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Especially the châteaux classified "only" as fourth and fifth crus usually omit this in order not to make their "low" rank too obvious. However, it must be noted that many wineries would very much like to have been classified "only" as Cinquième Cru Classé in 1855. This is because the over one and a half century old classification is still very important. See also under Grand Cru.

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Egon Mark

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Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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