The second wines of Bordeaux’s First Growths have seen impressive gains during the last year, with Liv-ex reporting that the Second Wines 50 Index has climbed a significant 19.5% over the last 12 months, compared to gains of 7.4% for the broader Bordeaux 500 Index. Furthermore, within the Bordeaux 500, five of the six top performers are second wines. Here are our top 10 picks.
The label has seen an average 22% increase over the last year, with the 2013 vintage climbing a remarkable 81% to an average £114 p/bottle.
Carruades de Lafite
The second wine of Lafite Rothschild. Three out of the top five Carruades performers are 2012, 2013, and 2014, with the 2013 up 30% over the last two weeks alone and the 2014 nearly 20%.
While Latour has seen some of the more modest rises, it scores more highly with Robert Parker than any other second wine. According to Parker: ‘If they gave out Academy Awards for great performances in wine, Latour would certainly fetch a few in 2010.’ It currently costs around £1,600 p/case.
Chateau Margaux’s second wine has seen strong performances from recent ‘off vintages’. The 2007 and 2008 are both up more than 30%, and the 2004 and 2006 are sitting around the 25% mark.
Clarence Haut Brion (formerly Bahans Haut Brion)
The 2011 vintage has demonstrated steady growth over the last 12 months, rising an average 20%. The 2007 is also hovering around the 20% mark.
While Le Petit Cheval has seen very modest gains overall, standout vintages include 2011 (up 16% over the last year), 2009 (up 29%) and 2007 (up 20%).
La Chappelle de La Mission Haut Brion
There’s only one Mission Haut Brion up more than 10% over the last year, and that’s the still-unbottled 2014 La Chapelle (up nearly 11%). Unbottled wines should always be approached with caution but this one could prove a smart investment.
Alter Ego Palmer
Palmer is certainly taking advantage of the super second action: the 1999 is up 30%, the 2006 is up 22% and both the 1997 and 2003 are up more than 10%.
Dame de Montrose
An overall more modestly-priced second wine, but one that’s seen gains nonetheless. The 2006 is up nearly 8% while the 2008 is up 15%.
Croix de Beacaillou
One of the best performers post-referendum, the chateau’s second wine offering from 2009 is up 13.45%.