What is a second wine?

by Mélissa Dameron
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The Origin of second wine

Historically reserved for Bordeaux classified growths, a second wine is a wine produced on the same terroir as that of the château, with grapes from younger plots and/or from the part of the harvest not retained in the great wine because of insufficient maturity. The selection of grapes being very strict for the first wines, depending on the vintage, the châteaux do not hesitate to discard 50% or more of their production.

A second wine therefore has characteristics quite close to the great wine of the château, with slightly less complexity, power, persistence, finesse, and aging potential; however more affordable. Buying a second wine allows you to taste the magic of the grand cru… without paying the price.

The “first second wines” were born at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century and often the second wine does not bear the mention “Château”.

The most famous second wines are those of the Premiers Crus Classés of Bordeaux, including:

The “first second wines” were born at the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century and often the second wine does not bear the mention “Château”.

Carruades de Lafite, in reference to the name of the “Plateau des Carruades”, a group of plots adjoining Château Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac.

Les Forts de Latour for Château Latour. The selection of grapes being very strict, they even produce a third wine “Pauillac de Latour”.

Le Petit Mouton, which owes its name to the residence of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, located in the very heart of the Mouton Rothschild vineyard.

Pavilion Rouge du Château Margaux and Pavilion Blanc du Château Margaux. Today, Château Margaux divides its production into 1/3 for Château Margaux, 1/3 for the Pavillon Rouge du Château Margaux and 1/3 for their third wine.

La Chapelle d’Ausone, since 1995, is the result of a blend of the finest grapes from young vines that are 25 years old on average.

Explore the cellar and the second wines

2009 Pensées de Lafleur : 93/100

1990 Bahans Haut Brion : 95/100

1985 Pavillon rouge du Château Margaux : 93/100

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