Second wine

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Three second wines from Bordeaux: Clos du Marquis, the second wine of Léoville-Las Cases, Chevalier de Lascombes, the second wine of Château Lascombes, and Les Hauts de Smith, the second wine of Château Smith Haut Lafitte.
The Grand vin and Second vin of the Second Growth estate Château Lascombes; the Second vin is called Chevalier de Lascombes.

Second wine (or second label; in French Second vin) is a term commonly associated with Bordeaux wine to refer to a second label wine made from cuvee not selected for use in the Grand vin or first label. In some cases a third wine or even fourth wine is also produced. Depending on the house winemaking style, individual plots of a vineyard may be selected, often those of the youngest vines, and fermented separately with the best performing barrels being chosen for the house's top wine with the other barrels being bottled under a separate label and sold for a lower price than the Grand vin.

In less favorable vintages, an estate may choose to release only a second label wine rather than to release a smaller than normal quantity of its Grand vin or a wine that would not be consistent with past vintages under that name. The practice has its roots in the 18th century but became more commercially prominent in the 1980s when consumers discovered these wines as a more affordable way to drink the product of a First growth or classified Bordeaux estate without paying the premium for the estate's label and classification.[1]

From the producer's point of view, a second wine allows the winery to use a stricter selection for its Grand Vin, while still capitalising on its name and distribution channels in selling the second wine, which will be much more profitable than selling off lesser wine "anonymously" to be used in e.g. negociant bulk bottlings.

History[edit]

The practice of establishing a second wine began in the 18th century as way for Bordeaux winemakers to be more selective of the wine going into their estate label wine without wasting the remaining wine. According to records, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande shipped its "second wine" of the 1874 vintage to the 1890 World's Fair in Moscow, although La Réserve de la Comtesse would not be for sale to the public until 1973.[2][3] Château Brane-Cantenac may have had a second label some time in the 18th century according to Decanter, but more evidently, Château Léoville-Las Cases first produced its Clos du Marquis in 1904, and Château Margaux followed with Pavillon Rouge produced from 1908.[4]

Château Mouton Rothschild released the poor 1927 vintage, then named Carruades de Mouton, followed in 1930 by Mouton Cadet as a second label, selling wine from previous difficult harvests considered unfit as château Grand vin vintage at reduced prices, eventually to successful response.[5][6] The estate has since expanded with more labels pushing Mouton Cadet further down its portfolio,[1] with Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild currently the estate's second wine and Mouton Cadet evolving into its own brand with a distinctly different marketing strategy.[5]

In the drive to higher quality that has taken place in recent decades, additional Bordeaux châteaux have added second wine. With the increased market competition since the 1980s, estates became more selective in the assemblage stage, making greater parts of the production disposed to be either sold off in bulk, or blended into second (or third) wine.[7][8]

Having a second wine is generally a part of the recipe prescribed by Michel Rolland and similar wine-making consultants. As an example, Château Kirwan, a Third Growth in Margaux, added their second wine Les Charmes de Kirwan in 1993, after Rolland was brought in.[9]

Production[edit]

In many ways the production of a second wine mirrors the production of estate's Grand vin being made from the same vineyard, with the same blend of grapes and by the same winemaker. Some selection takes place already after harvest, when plots that are often underperforming or are planted with younger vines will be earmarked for the second wine, which means that they receive a "cheaper" treatment with a lower percentage of new barrels. Additional selection will be done after the barrel aging when the winemaker will isolate the best performing barrels that most reflects the house style of the estate label with the remaining wine being bottled under second or even third and fourth labels.

The second wine may have some hints and characteristics of the estate wine but is typically less polished and structured than the estate wine. An estate will rarely promote its second wines and most wine labels will not even mention the parent estate because of the desire to keep the estate solely associated with its Grand vin.[10] However, some high end producers market their second wine as a "wine for earlier consumption" (i.e., quicker to mature) rather than "a lesser wine".

Naming and classification practices[edit]

Second wines often do not have the word "château" in their name, but they frequently sport some other part of their winery's name to add name recognition. The second wines of classified growths, since they are different wines, are not themselves part of the 1855 classification or other classifications. They are, however, entitled to use the same appellation as the Grand Vin, as they originate from the same terroir. As an example, Les Forts de Latour is an AOC Pauillac just like Château Latour, but is not a First Growth or any other kind of classified growth.

List of Bordeaux second wine[edit]

Médoc 1855 classed growths[edit]

First Growth estates Second wine
Château Latour Les Forts de Latour[1]
Château Margaux Pavillon Rouge de Château Margaux[1]
Château Mouton-Rothschild Le Petit Mouton de Mouton Rothschild[1]
Château Haut-Brion Le Clarence de Haut-Brion (previously Château Bahans Haut-Brion)[11]
Château Lafite Rothschild Carruades de Lafite-Rothschild[10]
Second Growth estates
Château Rauzan-Ségla Ségla
Château Rauzan-Gassies Chevalier de Rauzan-Gassies (previously Enclos de Moncabon)[4]
Château Léoville-Las Cases Le Petit Lion de Marquis de las Cases (replaced Clos du Marquis since 2007)
Château Léoville-Poyferré Château Moulin Riche
Château Léoville Barton La Réserve de Léoville Barton
Château Durfort-Vivens Vivens de Durfort-Vivens (previously Domaine de Curebourse)[4]
Château Gruaud-Larose Sarget de Gruaud-Larose
Château Lascombes Chevalier de Lascombes
Château Brane-Cantenac Baron de Brane
Château Pichon Longueville Baron Les Tourelles de Longueville
Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande   Reserve de la Comtesse[10]
Château Ducru-Beaucaillou La Croix de Beaucaillou[10]
Château Cos d'Estournel Les Pagodes de Cos[12]
Château Montrose La Dame de Montrose
Third Growth estates
Château Kirwan - Les Charmes de Kirwan[9]
Château d'Issan Blason d'Issan
Château Lagrange Les Fiefs de Lagrange
Château Langoa Barton Lady Langoa[13]
Château Giscours La Sirène de Giscours
Château Malescot St. Exupéry La Dame de Malescot
Château Cantenac-Brown Brio de Cantenac-Brown
Château Boyd-Cantenac Jacques Boyd
Château Palmer Alter Ego de Palmer (replaced Réserve du Général in 1998)[14]
Château La Lagune Moulin de la Lagune
Château Desmirail Initial de Desmirail
Château Calon-Ségur Château Marquis de Calon
Château Ferrière Les Remparts de Ferrière
Château Marquis d'Alesme Becker Marquise d'Alesme
Fourth Growth estates
Château Talbot Connétable de Talbot
Château Branaire-Ducru Duluc de Branaire-Ducru
Château Duhart-Milon-Rothschild Moulin de Duhart
Château Pouget Antoine Pouget
Château La Tour Carnet Les Douves de Carnet
Château Lafon-Rochet Les Pélerins de Lafon-Rochet
Château Beychevelle Amiral de Beychevelle
Château Prieuré-Lichine La Cloître Prieuré-Lichine
Château Marquis de Terme Les Gondats de Marquis de Terme
Fifth Growth estates Chateau D'Armailhac
Château Pontet-Canet Les Hauts de Pontet-Canet
Château Haut-Batailley Château La Tour l'Aspic
Château Grand-Puy-Lacoste Lacoste-Borie
Château Grand-Puy-Ducasse Prélude à Grand-Puy Ducasse
Château Lynch-Bages Echo de Lynch-Bages
Château du Tertre Les Hauts du Tertre
Château Dauzac La Bastide de Dauzac
Château Haut-Bages-Libéral La Chapelle de Bages
Château Pédesclaux Sens de Pédesclaux
Château Belgrave Diane de Belgrave
Château de Camensac La Closerie de Camensac
Château Cos Labory Le Charme Labory
Château Croizet Bages La Tourelle de Croizet-Bages
Château Cantemerle Les Allées de Cantemerle

Sauternes 1855 classed growths[edit]

Grand Cru Superior !

      Chateau D'Yquem
First Growth estates Second wine
Château La Tour Blanche Les Charmilles de Tour Blanche
Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey La Chapelle de Lafaurie-Peyraguey
Château Clos Haut-Peyraguey   La Gourmandise de Clos Haut-Peyraguey
Château de Rayne-Vigneau Madame de Rayne
Château Suduiraut Castelnau de Suduiraut
Château Coutet Chartreuse de Coutet
Château Climens Cyprès de Climens
Château Guiraud Le Dauphin de Guiraud
Château Rieussec Carmes de Rieussec (previously Clos la Bere)[4]
Château Sigalas-Rabaud Lieutenant de Sigalas
Second Growth estates
Château Doisy-Dubroca La Demoiselle de Doisy
Château Doisy-Védrines Château Petit Védrines
Château d'Arche Prieuré d'Arche
Château Nairac Esquisse de Nairac
Château Caillou Les Erables de Caillou
Château de Malle Saint-Hélène
Château Romer du Hayot Château Andoyse du Hayot
Château Lamothe Les Tourelles de Lamothe
Château Lamothe-Guignard L'ouest de Lamothe-Guignard

Other Bordeaux[edit]

Graves classed estates Second wine
Château Bouscaut Les Chênes de Bouscaut
Château Carbonnieux La Tour-Léognan[10]
Domaine de Chevalier L'Espirit de Chevalier[15]
Château Couhins Couhins La Gravette
Château de Fieuzal L'Abeille de Fieuzal[2]
Château Haut-Bailly Le Parde de Haut-Bailly[16]
Château Latour-Martillac Lagrave-Martillac[17]
Château Malartic-Lagravière Sillage de Malartic[18]
Château La Mission Haut-Brion La Chapelle de la Mission[19]
Château Olivier La Seigneurie d'Olivier du Chateau Olivier[20]
Château Pape Clément Le Clémentin du Pape Clément[2]
Château Smith Haut Lafitte Les Hauts de Smith[21]
Saint-Émilion classed estates
Château Ausone Chapelle d'Ausone[22]
Château Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval[10]
Château Angélus Carillon de L'Angélus[10]
Château Beauséjour Croix de Beauséjour[23]
Château Beau-Séjour Bécot Tournelle de Beau-Séjour Bécot[24]
Château Canon Clos de Canon[25]
Château Figeac La Grange Neuve de Figeac[26]
Clos Fourtet Closerie de Fourtet[27]
Château La Gaffelière Clos La Gaffelière[28]
Château Magdelaine Sanges de Magdelaine (previously Château Saint Brice)[29]
Château Pavie-Macquin Les Chênes de Macquin[30]
Château Troplong Mondot Mondot[2]
Château Trotte Vieille La Vieille Dame de Trotte Vieille[31]
Château Canon-la-Gaffelière Côte Mignon La Gaffelière[32]
Château Grand Corbin-Despagne   Petit Corbin-Despagne[33]
Médoc Cru Bourgeois
Château Chasse-Spleen L'Ermitage de Chasse-Spleen and L'Oratoire de Chasse-Spleen[34]
Château Haut-Marbuzet Château MacCarthy[35]
Château Labégorce Zédé Domaine Zédé and Z de Zédé[36]
Château Phélan Ségur Franck Phélan[37]
Château Potensac La Chapelle de Potensac (previously Château Lassalle)[38]
Château Poujeaux La Salle de Poujeaux[39]
Château Citran Moulins de Citran[2]
Unclassified estates
Château Beauregard Le Benjamin de Beauregard (previously Domaine des Douves)[40]
Château La Conseillante Duo de Conseillante[41]
Château L'Évangile Blason de L'Évangile
Château Gazin l'Hospitalet de Gazin[42]
Château Gloria Château Peymartin[43]
Château Lafleur Les Pensées de Lafleur[44]
Château Mazeyres Le Seuil de Mazeyres[45]
Château Nénin Fugue de Nénin[2]
Château Petit-Village Le Jardin de Petit Village[2]
Château Rouget Vieux Château des Templiers[2]
Château Sociando-Mallet La Demoiselle de Sociando-Mallet[46]
Château Valandraud Virginie de Valandraud and 3 de Valandraud[2][47]
Vieux Château Certan Gravette de Certan[48]
Château l'Église Clinet La Petite Eglise

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition pg 618-619 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-860990-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Conan, Eric, L'Express (January 24, 2005). "Les grands crus dégriffés" (in French). 
  3. ^ pichon-lalande.com Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, la Réserve de la Comtesse (French)
  4. ^ a b c d The New York Times (August 16, 1989). "Wine Talk". 
  5. ^ a b winepros.com.au. Oxford Companion to Wine. "Mouton Cadet". 
  6. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau d'Armailhac". 
  7. ^ winepros.com.au. Oxford Companion to Wine. "second wines". 
  8. ^ winepros.com.au. Oxford Companion to Wine. "assemblage". 
  9. ^ a b "Wine Journal Producer Profile Château Kirwan". 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g K. MacNeil The Wine Bible pg 148 Workman Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-56305-434-5
  11. ^ Robinson, Jancis, jancisrobinson.com (May 24, 2008). La Mission celebrates 25 years
  12. ^ "Cosestournel.com: The other wines of Domaines Reybier". Retrieved December 15б 2007. 
  13. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Langoa-Barton". 
  14. ^ mahler-besse.fr Alter Ego de Palmer
  15. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Domaine de Chevalier". 
  16. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Haut-Bailly". 
  17. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Latour-Martillac". 
  18. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Malartic-Lagravière". 
  19. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion". 
  20. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Olivier". 
  21. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Smith-Haut-Lafitte". 
  22. ^ cellarnotes.com Chateau Ausone
  23. ^ saint-emilion-premiers.com Château Beauséjour technical file (French)
  24. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Beau-Séjour Bécot". 
  25. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Canon". 
  26. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Figeac". 
  27. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Clos Fourtet". 
  28. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau La Gaffeliere". 
  29. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Magdelaine". 
  30. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Pavie-Macquin". 
  31. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Trottevieille". 
  32. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Canon-la-Gaffelière". 
  33. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Grand Corbin-Despagne". 
  34. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Chasse-Spleen". 
  35. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Haut-Marbuzet". 
  36. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Labegorce Zede". 
  37. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Phelan Segur". 
  38. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Potensac". 
  39. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Poujeaux". 
  40. ^ Peppercorn, David (2003). Bordeaux. London: Mitchell Beazley. pp. 489–490. ISBN 1-84000-927-6. 
  41. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau La Conseillante". 
  42. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Gazin". 
  43. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Gloria". 
  44. ^ Rose, Anthony, Decanter.com (November 19, 2007). "Chateau Lafleur wows buyers at Christie's sale". 
  45. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Mazeyres". 
  46. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Chateau Sociando-Mallet". 
  47. ^ Belgium Wine Watchers. "Château Valandraud". 
  48. ^ Kissack, Chris, thewinedoctor.com. "Vieux Chateau Certan".