Wine Word of the Week: First growth

By Kori ~ April 17th, 2010.

This week’s Wine Word of the Week is first growth.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
First growth is a direct translation of the French premier cru but its meaning tends to be limited to those Bordeaux wine properties judged in the top rank according to the various classifications: Chx Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion, Mouton-Rothschild, Cheval Blanc, Ausone, d’Yquem, together often with the unclassified but generally acknowledged star of Pomerol, Ch Petrus. Just below these red Bordeaux in terms of status are the so-called super seconds.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
First growth (or premier cru) most often refers to the famous First Growths of Bordeaux, designated in the 1855 classification. The original First Growths included Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, and Chateau Haut-Brion. After years and years of lobbying by owner Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild was promoted to First Growth status in 1973.

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