JJ Buckley Fine Wines Blog

Learn what makes wine more meaningful and memorable. We explore the people, places and stories behind some of the world's finest and unique wines. Join us!

JJBuckley Fine Wines

2013 Bordeaux: That's Why They Call Them The First Growths

by Chuck Hayward

The first growths are designated so because they are considered to have the best terroirs in the Haut-Medoc. But what happens in the more difficult years? Do the supposedly superior terroirs actually allow the first growths to produce wines better than their neighbors?

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First Growths First: Harbingers of the Vintage

by Chuck Hayward

Let the madness begin! Save for the elite critics who arrived in Bordeaux one or two weeks ahead, en primeur week officially opened on Monday. We arrive early enough to get acclimated and rested up, as that first day offers an important opportunity get a sense of the vintage before later diving into the really big tastings hosted by negociants and the Union des Grand Crus (UGC).

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Bottomless Pours at Chateau Margaux

by Chuck Hayward

Here in Bordeaux, two words inspire more reverence than any others: First Growth. Thanks to the 1855 classification system, there are only five First Growths (Lafite, Latour, Haut Brion, and Margaux, with Mouton added to the group in 1973), and they are widely considered to produce the finest wines from the Left Bank.

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First Impressions of the Big Five

by Chuck Hayward

They are called the Premier Grand Crus, the First Growths— a Bordeaux Best of the Best, designated as such by the famed Classification of 1855 (with a certain exception made in 1973). These five revered wineries— Lafite, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton-Rothschild— produce some of the most sought after and coveted wines by enthusiasts and collectors from across the globe. And I was about to taste them all!

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