Graves Classification

Introduced just under 100 years after the appearance of the 1855 Classification, the 1953 classification of the Graves brought pride back to the region's wines.

Apart from Ch. Haut Brion, they had been excluded from the 1855 version, and were desperate for the quality of their wines to be recognized. Their single tier classification of the region's red and white wines was listed in alphabetical order and was officially ratified in 1958. 

It was updated in 1959 with the addition of four white wines Châteaux Couhins-Lurton, Couhins, La Tour Martillac and Malartic-Lagravière, and two reds, Châteaux Fieuzal and Pape Clément. In 1960 the white wine of Ch. Haut-Brion seems to have been added too, although there is some debate over this.

While it may have been important symbolically, the Graves classification is fairly meaningless from both a commercial point of view and as a guide for consumers. Its nebulous 'Cru Classé' designation has no status or personality, and is too easily confused with similar names. There is also no qualification of differing quality which the Médoc and St Emilion classifications provide. All the wines are graded together, with Ch. Bouscaut ranked equally with, for example, Ch. Haut-Bailly.

It also only covers a handful of the region's estates - a mere 13% of the total vineyard area - and there are too many notable absentees for it to be considered an authoritative list. For the moment a more useful guide to the best wines in the region is the Pessac-Léognan appellation that was introduced in 1987 to distinguish the finest red and whites (in the north) from basic Graves. A revision of the 1959 Graves classification is increasingly mooted, and desirable, although whether it can be achieved is another matter. Read more about the Bordeaux Classifications in our appellations guide.

Classified Red Wines of Graves

  1. Château Bouscaut, Cadaujac
  2. Château Haut-Bailly, Léognan
  3. Château Carbonnieux, Léognan
  4. Domaine de Chevalier, Léognan
  5. Château de Fieuzal, Léognan
  6. Château Olivier, Léognan
  7. Malartic-Lagravière, Léognan
  8. Château Latour-Martillac, Martillac
  9. Château Smith-Haute-Lafitte, Martillac
  10. Château Haut-Brion, Pessac
  11. Château La Mission-Haut-Brion, Talence
  12. Château Pape-Clément, Pessac
  13. Château Latour-Haut-Brion, Talence

Classified White Wines of Graves

  1. Château Bouscaut, Cadaujac
  2. Château Carbonnieux, Léognan
  3. Domaine de Chevalier, Léognan
  4. Château Olivier, Léognan
  5. Malartic-Lagravière, Léognan
  6. Château La Tour-Martillac, Martillac
  7. Château Laville-Haut Brion, Talence
  8. Château Couhins-Lurton, Vilenave d`Ornan
  9. Château Couhins, Vilenave d`Ornan
  10. Château Haut-Brion, Pessac (added in 1960)