Philippe Blasco of French Wine Guide published an extensive and interesting interview with Jean-Philippe Delmas who is in charge of Chateaux Haut-Brion in Bordeaux. Now who cares you ask? Well, aside from being an interesting read, Château Haut Brion is the only first-growth to be American owned and Bordeaux’s first internationally acclaimed winemaking estate.
For those who don’t know “first-growth” is:
First Growth (French Premier Cru) status refers to the greatest wines of the Bordeaux region.
According to the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, only five red wines were assigned the status of Premier Cru, four from Médoc and one from Graves. In addition, eleven of the sweet white wines of Sauternes and Barsac were classed as Premier Cru, and one (Château d’Yquem) was granted a special Premier Cru Supérieur (Great First Growth) classification.
With the exception of Château Haut-Brion from Graves, the 1855 Classification overlooked the regions of Graves, Saint-Emilion and Pomerol entirely, despite the fact that several were and remain to be ranked among the finest red wines in the world. For details on their own classification schemes, see their sections below.
In addition, Burgundy maintains its own classification scheme based on specific appellations.
Monsieur Delmas talks about his family, the region, tasting a Haut-Brion, the last vintages, the future of French wine, among other things. A bit lengthy but interesting to read.