Does anyone have experience of drinking second wines from good chateau? They seem very good value assuming they are being made by the same team and vineyards. Are they ready to drink sooner? Are they significantly different?
In my experience they are good buys, although not always ‘cheap’ they tend to be good after about 5 years bottle age. Would be interesting to do a blind comparison of second wines of classed growth against other wines from the same area that are in the same price bracket, but first wines of more minor producers.
From the WS list I can recommend (from past experience) Les Fiefs de Lagrange and Lacoste Borie https://www.thewinesociety.com/shop/ProductDetail.aspx?pd=CM16431
both from 2010 and £24 and £25 each.
Its also worth checking out some of the second wines from top producers in some of the EP offers, the second wines in a good vintage usually have the excess top fruit that didn’t fit in the barrels from the top wines
Yes, I did go for Marquis de Calon in the 2016 Bordeaux… so fingers crossed.
You see, that’s why I like coming on here - Every day is a school day!
Also keep an eye out for some of the ‘white label’ wines that are also sold as they come from top producers who felt that it is either not quite perfect for their top wine (but still very good!) - the wines are sold on the basis that the name of the producer isn’t known. This is great as it means that you can get close to top wines without spending top wine money for almost the same level of quality.
An example is that we have a 2013 Pauillac, I don’t know who the producer is but it will be from a good source and its £18 a bottle.
Computer says Latour
I’ve had quite a few ‘white label’ wines, including some 2003 Sauternes from Yquem (allegedly) at £19 a full bottle. Although the hot vintage meant it tasted like a superior Aussie Semillon like De Bortoli Noble One, rather than classic Sauternes.
Some of the best bargains in Bordeaux are the not quite up to scratch parcels from the best estates. Usually the wine merchant is honour bound not to reveal the source!
I adore the Pauillac 2013 alluded to.
The 2012 was hugely enjoyable too.
I think that I tried the 2011 also, but the Society did not do a vintage thread on it. They should do!
They did not fully reveal themselves until they have had around 4 hours in the decanter.
Clos du Marquis 1980, about £6 on offer out of Victoria Wines.
Them were the days!! LoL
I discover now that today this isn’t a true 2nd wine, but a separate vineyard. Then it was touted as rejected Las Cases wine.
It was a classy glassful and when I tried to buy more locally, it was all gone.
Generally speaking I have found 2nd wines disappointing, but Segla and Reserve de Comtesse are notable exceptions. More recently I have purchased Parde and Petit Figeac in the hope that some of the stardust from their extolled siblings may have rubbed off in the passing. I think that these days with reviews being fairly ubiquitous it is more difficult for Château to dump all and sundry into a well publicized secondary offering.
I like to see the Grand Vin, a recognisable 2nd wine name, sometimes a third and the rest sold off under a discretely unnamed label or to a negotciant for blending.
Thanks @Taffy-on-Tour i think I’ll be ordering the 2nd recommendations from the ws site…i did look at the figeac too as I’ve been lucky enough to have a bottle, apparently from a terrible vintage (1984). Maybe i should push the boat out for the grand vin. One day…!
To celebrate a significant birthday in September we drank 2004 vintage of Pavillon Rouge (2nd Wine of Ch. Margaux) and Alter Ego (2nd Wine of Ch. Palmer). They were delicious! 2004 was a tricky year to sell, squeezed between the super hot 2003 and acclaimed 2005 so these wines were bought en primeur at very good prices. I blanched when I looked up their current prices but we bought these wines for drinking and buying en primeur back then really paid off.
I would throw my hat into the ring with Beaucastel Coudoulet. Made the exact same way as the Grande Vin, the only difference is that the Coudoulet vineyard is separated from the Beaucastel vineyard by the N7 road. Inside the N7, you are Châteauneuf-du-Pape, outside that road and you are Cotes-du-Rhone!
For many years Clos du Marquis was touted as the 2nd wine of Lascases. Now acknowledged as a completely separate vineyard, and making terrific wine.
I buy Segla and Reserve de Comtesse fairly often, a decent smidge of the GV class and taste, at a laughable(ish) price.
One ploy to use is when a winemaker declassifies his entire crop into a lesser cuvee in a lesser vintage, then a real bargain can exist.
Or if a winemaker in say the Rhone has too much of one grape variety, and by using that may produce an atypical wine. Work out or find out what he did with the excess, maybe into a humble CdR and scoop that up. It can be fun trying to be Sherlock, Hercule and Morse (all rolled up into one!) when looking for a bargain.
Mind you, if you take the time to really read our WS buyers notes, you will NOT go far wrong.
I’ve got some 2010 Segla thanks to the Vintage Cellar Plan - how long should I wait until I make a start on it, do you think?
I would have no problem gettin’ torn in now.
The Rauzan Segla is said to be approachable now, so his 'iccle bruvver which is made for earlier consumption should be drinking well by now.
Maybe with a Scottish Rib Roast or Welsh Lamb Rack or Leg over the Christmas period.
Certainly something to look forward to!
Thanks very much - I’ll be withdrawing everything from the members reserves shortly as my wine cabinet is due to arrive tomorrow. Once it’s here I’ll plan a suitable occasion to break in!
Sir, you are very welcome!
Membership should also be about helping each other!
To echo a few others here, I have generally found that for the Bordeaux producers, second wines provide significant value in the best vintages, providing a more ‘accessible’ or early drinking expression of the grand vin. I have certainly had good experiences of both the 2009 and 2010 Les Tourelles de Longueville - the 2nd wine of Pichon Baron (although this is less of an expression of the grand vin, as it tends to be a merlot dominated blend primarily from a single plot that only feeds the ‘2nd wine’), and have a couple of bottles of the 2010 Dame de Montrose that I plan to open next Sunday for a celebratory meal, and hope for good things!