As early as January 1838, the ranking of the journal “Le Producteur”, based on the price levels reached on the Mercuriales exchange, ranked “De Gères”, the ancestor of Fonbadet, 47th out of 188 Médoc estates. At the time, it was on a par with two Fifth Grands Crus Classés , was ranked well ahead of three other Fifth Growths and behind only one Cru Bourgeois, Malécot-Weltner, whose vineyard was incorporated into that of Château Lynch Bages during the second half of the 20th Century.
Among other rankings, in 1849, the County Survey gave “De Gères à Fonbadet” an excellent position: 17th out of 51. In the choices made by the journal, based on taste, Pauillac was preferred, whereas Margaux was at the bottom at the ranking. The 1855 Classification, however, was not a matter of taste, but the result of clever calculations, whether arithmetic or political.
Only 63 estates were distinguished by a jury of sworn brokers and included in the first list. A 64th estate was subsequently added following a claim by Baroness Caroline de Villeneuve-Durfort. Through legal procedures, she succeeded in proving that the wines of her Château Cantemerle sold for the same price as fifth growths, even if they were not negotiated by Bordeaux merchants. Other owners subsequently demanded an official reconsideration of the Imperial Classification, but in vain. The debate, however, continues to this day, despite the partial review of 1973 that concerned only the First Growths.