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Second Vin

French term for second wine; see there.

Zweitwein - Château Latour Grand Vin, Second Vin, Troisième Vin

Designation (also second label) for a significantly cheaper and simpler line of a winery that is marketed under a different name than the Grand Vin (first wine). This is most common in Bordeaux, but the term is also used in other regions and countries. The best wines from the best sites are used for the main wine. The philosophy or the criteria are quite different for each château and can also change with each vintage. These are, for example, grapes from vineyards with younger vines (about 10 to 15 years), grapes from sites of lower quality compared to the first sites, batches from the pre-harvest, wines from the second pressing and wines from poorer barrel samples. In bad vintages, it can happen that the production of the first wine is dispensed with, for example in 1987 at Château Lafleur and in 1991 at Château Cheval Blanc. Especially in very good years, the second wine often offers much better value for money, because the Grands Vins cost at least twice as much. Since 1993, it has been permissible to use the additional designations Château or Domaine for the second or third wine.

Zweitwein - Château Latour Grand Vin, Second Vin, Troisième Vin

Quality of the second wine

The quality of second wines can vary considerably. For some houses, it reaches top class. For example, the second wine "Les Forts de Latour" from Château Latour comes very close to the quality and price of a "Deuxième Cru Classé" château (top centre). With other producers, however, these wines are of very basic quality. As a rule, the second wines have less aromas, alcohol content and tannins than the main wines. They are usually fruitier, softer in structure and also ripe for consumption much earlier, i.e. less durable. However, the signature of a house is very often fully evident in the second wine, and one can also expect the best qualities from the top châteaux.

Some wineries strive for a certain typicity. As a result, even surplus lots of very good wine are ultimately not fully included in the Grand Vin, because in very good years the wine would then stand out too much from the other years. This means that even the best qualities can go into a second wine. A good example of this is Château Léoville-Las-Cases, where the second wine from good years almost reaches the quality of the Grand Vin. However, the rank assigned in the Bordeaux classification of 1855 does not apply to the second wines, regardless of the highest quality. That is why they have a different name, i.e. they may not bear the name of the château on the label.

Third wine

The term second wine is also used in Italy (and other countries), but in a slightly different form. In particularly prestigious DOC/DOCG areas, another wine from that area is then called a second wine. For example, Rosso di Montalcino is considered the second wine of the Brunello di Montalcino area. However, the designation is particularly popular in France. Many châteaux produce a second wine. For example, Château Latour, Château Lafite-Rothschild and Château Léoville-Las-Cases produce a second wine. No second wine is produced by Château Batailley, Château Clerc Milon, Château d'Yquem, Château Latour à Pomerol¸ Château La Conseillante, Château Le Pin, Château Pétrus and Château Trotanoy. Château Mouton-Rothschild started this relatively late in 1993.

Well-known second and third wines

Most of the wines in this list are second and third wines from France, especially Bordeaux, but there are also some from other countries:

Álvaro Palacios (L'Ermita) Finca Dofí, Les Terrasses
Capaia Blue Grove Hill
Château Angélus Le Carillon de l'Angélus
Château Ausone Chapelle d'Ausone
Château Balestard La Tonnelle Les Tourelles de Balestard
Château Barde-Haut Le Vallon de Barde-Haut
Château Beauséjour Duffau-Lagarosse La Croix de Mazerat
Château Beau-Séjour-Bécot La Tournelle des Moines
Château Belair-Monange Les Sanges de Magdelaine
Château Belgrave Diane de Belgrave
Château Berliquet Les Ailes de Berliquet
Château Beychevelle Amiral de Beychevelle
Château Bonalgue Château Burgrave
Château Bouscaut Château Valoux
Château Boyd-Cantenac Jacques Boyd
Château Branaire-Ducru Château Duluc
Château Brane-Cantenac Baron de Brane
Château Calon-Ségur Château Marquis de Calon
Château Canon Croix Canon (formerly Clos Canon)
Château Canon-La Gaffelière Les Hauts de Canon La Gaffelière
Château Cantemerle Les Allés de Cantemerle
Baron Villeneuve de Cantemerle
Château Cantenac BrownChâteau Cantenac...

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Dominik Trick

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Dominik Trick
Technischer Lehrer, staatl. geprüfter Sommelier, Hotelfachschule Heidelberg

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