Pavie and Angelus were the big winners of the long-awaited (and at times highly controversial) re-classification of the St Emilion Grand Cru. Since being upgraded to Premier Grand Cru Classe A – sitting alongside Cheval Blanc and Ausone - both have benefited from increased demand on the exchange, with a flurry of trades over the last 48 hours. (For the full details of what moved up, and down, see the comprehensive reports from Decanter, The Wine Cellar Insider and RVF.)
Although the process included tastings, visits and detailed submissions (along with the payment of at least €6,000) the movement of estates up the rankings was almost exactly aligned with their secondary market pricing.
Below we have listed the average price per case for the last five physical vintages (2005-2009) for each estate in both Premier Grand Cru Classe A and B.
The two wines that moved up from Classe B to Classe A - Pavie and Angelus - were significantly more expensive than any other existing Premier Grand Cru Classe B wine. Indeed, they were the only wines that had a secondary market price of the more than £1,000 per case (€100 per bottle).
Similarly, all the wines that moved from Grand Cru Classe to Premier Grand Cru Classe B, are priced in excess of £450 per case (€45 per bottle) - which tends to be the lower range for wines in that strata of the classification. (As such, Beausejour Becot looks fortunate to have kept its status.)
La Mondotte, previously considered just a St Emilion Grand Cru (of which there are several hundred) skipped the Grand Cru Classe stage entirely and went straight in as Premier Grand Cru Classe B. La Mondotte and Valandraud (also newly promoted) immediately become the most expensive Classe B wines by some margin.
There were some outliers, however. Clos St Martin remains a Grand Cru Classe despite an average price of close to £500 per case. (Although this high average is largely due to the top-scoring 2005, at £1,050 - most other vintages struggle to break the £400 barrier.) Similarly, Quintus (formerly Tertre Daugay), which launched its 2011 at an eye watering price of £1,000 per case, must make do with Grand Cru Classe status. Nevertheless, it appears the re-classification board could have saved itself a great deal of bother by just following the market.