To be honest I ignore the hype. I really don’t care whose left over grapes it’s made from and I’m not expecting to get a top Lafite or Latour or whatever for £23, of course not. I’ve bought the wine, liked it and consider it good value for Pauillac; an appellation that frequently commands what are, for me, eye watering prices. No more, no less.
Going against conventional wisdom, the “Lafite Legend pauillac” that was doing the rounds in Waitrose is fair value. Especially if you want a good hit of graphite. Otherwise, I suspect you are far better of with a grand vin of a lesser chateau.
Hmm, maybe but I’m not so sure. I’m a great lover of quite a number of second wines that I consider excellent value. Are they better than other first wines at the same price point? I’m not sure, but, again, I don’t tend to judge them as second wines. I drink the wine and, if it’s seems good and good value, I’ll buy it again. There are a few of them like Baron de Brane and Marquis de Calon that I genuinely didn’t know were second wines when I first bought them - TWS doesn’t always mention it in the short description - but I simply liked them!
I tend to find second wines tend to be better for early drinking. A Marquis de Calon and a Capbern (two of my favourites, made by the same winemakers at around the same price) the Marquis de Calon 2016 is drinking well now, the Capbern needs as long as a first wine from a more prestigious Chateau (e.g. Calon Segur). They’re not really in competition with each other in that sense as they’re different.
Related note: Maybe I should give a bottle of 2016 Marquis de Calon a go.
Absolutely and at my age storing a certain amount of early drinkers is eminently sensible! If, as is typical, I only have a couple of bottles for any one estate and vintage, I usually target the middle of the TWS window as an appropriate drinking date (although I often end up later than that) and for many of these Bordeaux second wines that’s still typically around 10 years.
But like anything I have a mix. Second wines of expensive chateaux and first wines of less expensive chateaux, along with a handful of first wines from the lower end of the expensive chateaux!
The 2019 vintage has just landed… £23/bottle.
“From the vineyards of one of Bordeaux’s greatest châteaux, whose name we are duty-bound not to reveal, this is a classic blend of fully ripe cabernet sauvignon and merlot displaying the freshness and purity of the exceptional 2019 vintage. The wine reveals notes of blackcurrants, pencil shavings and a hint of vanilla. Those who wish to try the wine before 2024 should decant it 45 minutes before drinking to aerate the wine and allow the flavours to unfurl.”
I have put a case into reserves…
I didn’t need to see this ……
You and me both!
And the same here too. My wallet could really do without it too.