Bordeaux Lovers: Have you tried all Bdx from the 1855 Classification?

All these love/hate threads recently about Bordeaux got me thinking about the 1855 Classification and how many of these wines I actually still buy (or stated better, can still afford to buy).

What struck me by looking back at the Classification - been years since I’ve actually done that - is that I have never even heard of a few, and some that I have heard of, I have not tried. Now bear in mind, Bordeaux is my wine of choice. Yes, I love some other regions, like Loire and Rhone, and dig me some Cali Zins, and more recently some syrahs, but by and large, my preference is Bordeaux. Even with the price escalations this past decade, I have been buying - Crus in good years like 2005, Classified Growths in years like 2001, 04 and 08. Picked up a few ringers in 03 and 05.

Below is the Classification, with my notations on those I have not heard of and those I have not tried. Would love to hear whether other Bdx lovers on this BB have tried all of the wines on the Classification, and if so, can comment on those I have notated. Curious if I am missing something, perhaps a sleeper or a bargain, among the Classification.

First Growths
Chateau Lafite-Rothschild
Chateau Latour
Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (promoted from Second Growth in 1973)
Chateau Margaux
Chateau Haut-Brion

Second Growths
Chateau Pichon-Baron de Longueville
Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou
Chateau Gruaud-Larose
Chateau Léoville-Las Cases
Chateau Léoville-Barton
Chateau Léoville-Poyferré
Chateau Cos d’Estournel
Chateau Montrose
Chateau Durfort-Vivens - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau Lascombes
Chateau Rauzan-Ségla
Chateau Rauzan-Gassies - NEVER HAD

Third Growths
Chateau Lagrange
Chateau Langoa-Barton
Chateau Boyd-Cantenac - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau Cantenac-Brown
Chateau Desmirail - NEVER HAD
Chateau Ferrière
Chateau Giscours
Chateau d’Issan
Chateau Kirwan
Chateau Malescot St-Exupéry
Chateau Marquis d’Alesme Becker - NEVER HAD
Chateau Palmer
Chateau Calon-Ségur
Chateau La Lagune

Fourth Growths
Chateau Duhart-Milon
Chateau Marquis-de-Terme - NEVER HAD
Chateau Pouget - NEVER HEARD OF
Chateau Prieuré-Lichine
Chateau Beychevelle
Chateau Branaire-Ducru
Chateau St Pierre
Chateau Talbot
Chateau Lafon Rochet
Chateau La Tour Carnet

Fifth Growths
Chateau d’Armailhac
Chateau Batailley
Chateau Clerc-Milon
Chateau Croizet-Bages - NEVER HAD
Chateau Grand-Puy-Ducasse - NEVER HAD
Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste
Chateau Haut-Bages-Libéral
Chateau Haut-Batailley
Chateau Lynch-Bages
Chateau Lynch-Moussas - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau Pédesclaux - NEVER HAD
Chateau Pontet-Canet
Chateau Dauzac - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau du Tertre - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau Cos-Labory
Chateau Belgrave - HAVE NOW HAD
Chateau Camensac
Chateau Cantemerle

I’m not even close. I’ve tried maybe 20 of the list.

Not even close. And somehow I can live with that.

Many of these wines I have tried only once or twice, like Lafite, Leoville Las Cases, Rauzan. Some of these wines I have not had since vintages 1985-1995. Started drinking Bdx in 1992, when many of these wines were much less expensive and I was more experimental. My wife and I also went to Bdx on our honeymoon in '96 where I got to try many wines. The breadth of what I drink now, among the Classifieds, is much more limited now.

I started drinking wine (including bordeaux) in the late 70s. Back then, I was a young man and had all kinds of acquisitive desires. Among them – and the only one I will share with the likes of the folks on this board – was the desire to taste broadly and build a diverse cellar. I valued diversity as a goal in and of itself. Mission accomplished. Now I know what I like, where my own personal law of diminishing returns sets in, and the true opportunity costs of money sunk in a wasting asset. So I buy a much much narrower range of wines that I am almost certain will please me as they mature. And at 55, I no longer have an enormous span ahead of me to plan for.

I am ok with all of that too.

I’ve had the following once or twice, all 2005 vintage:

Chateau Brane-Cantenac - Not bad; probably needed more time to breathe; could be better
Chateau Boyd-Cantenac - can’t seem to remember
Chateau Desmirail - very hollow on the palate
Chateau Dauzac - expected more for some reason; wasn’t good

Overall, I don’t think you’re missing much . . . but I am curious about the other ones you’ve noted as I haven’t tried them either.

It never occurred to me to think about this. I was a little surprised at how many I’d had from the top of the list and how many I’d missed at the bottom. The thing that surprised me the most is, I can’t honestly remember if I’ve ever had Leoville Poyferre. I suspect I have tasted it but I know I’ve never owned a bottle.

My right bank misses are big. I’ve never had most of the best Pomerols including Petrus, and I’ve never had Ausone.

What a cool idea for a thread, & a fun exercise! [drinkers.gif]

After going through the Classification, I realize there are only 2 Chateau I haven’t ever tasted.

3rd Growth Ch. Desmirail
5th Growth Ch. Lynch-Moussas

. . . not going out of my way to taste these 2 just to complete list. [bleh.gif]

Some I’ve only had a vintage or two (& not always a Good vintage!), but was lucky (& old!) enough to taste many vintages of the top wines from the 70’s, '80’s, & '90’s. Less so from 2000 on as prices escalated.

Bordeaux is still my go-to area when I want something special, but St. Emilion is where I go now.


Thanks Rob and Craig.

Given your comments, let’s definitely start a right bank thread after this one runs its course. I tend to buy more right banks now as well, but I bet I have gaps there as well!

I think I had all from the list except Pouget (it´s just across the road from Boyd-Cantenac) … but several only one time (because they were bad or uninteresting).
You´ve left out the Sauternes/Barsac from 1855 ! Here I have more left-outs …

My Not Tried wine list is quite similar to yours except perhaps Du Tertre which I possess from 1996 and 2000 vintage. It is possible that I could have had a cursory glance at some Not Tried wines at Bordeaux tastings put forth by retailers but not enough to register on my radar. Besides, there are only selected wines that buy so I don’t care much about the others.

52 for me so far. Never had Pouget, Pedesclaux or Dauzac.

I’ve had most 1st and 2nds along with half the 3rds.

BTW, I’m still surprised that Palmer is a 3rd growth and Lynch Bages a 5th.

Fun post! Most memorable to me was a tasting in the early 1990’s at the Boston Harbor Hotel that featured all of the 1990 first growths plus Petrus.

I came away from that tasting with two very vivid impressions:

  1. I adore Ch. Margaux – I can still remember the taste/scent of violets. Over the years, I have managed to purchase and store only one bottle of Margaux – the 1995 – but would kill to have more in my cellar.

  2. Serena Sutcliffe, who moderated the panel, found pleasure in merely waving her glass around and talking about the wines rather than tasting them. Most of the tasters in the room wanted to be polite and so declined to taste while she was pontificating. After listening to about 5 minutes of her nonsense (“You will find that this wine is so REHMMM-in-iscent of LOOOOOWWWWWWW–gan–berries”, I and my tasting companions said screw it, and started tasting the wines. Good decision, because we all ended up getting second and third pours.

At some point, we started timing how long it took until she actually put a glass to her lips.

For many years after that tasting, we delighted in saying “LOOOOOWWWWW-gan–berries” any time we tasted a red Bordeaux.

All but Chateau St Pierre, but I’ve had 38 years to do it.

I have a sweet spot for this well-priced estate. The 1982 vintage was my first experience with it. Most recently, love the '03.

I do not recall ever having had anything from Marquis d’Alesme Becker.


I’ve have about 2/3 of the list (most important omission remains Haut Brion for some reason). Three of the 5th that you are missing (du Tertre, Dauzac and Belgrave) are very good quality wines, especially considering their price point. I encourage you to seek them out once.

I correct myself: I have also never tasted Chateau DUBIGNON (3rd growth Margaux) - and it is also missing on the list above!
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