The concept of the Second Vin, or Deuxieme Vin, has been around for awhile. Since at least the end of the 1800s, the Bordeaux chateaux came up with the idea of the second label, to give life to the wines that do not make it into the Grand Vin, but have the quality to be enjoyed under a different name. Not to be confused with Second Growths, the second wine is typically made by the chateau itself from criteria that they have established.
For instance, they may use grapes from younger vine (under 15 years old) which are designated for the Grand Vin in time to come; or surplus grapes; or specific vineyards that have been earmarked for that purpose. In some lucky years, if the quality of the grapes for the Grand Vin do not reach the standards the Chateau is looking for, they may declassify those grapes for the second vin. Pricings for Second Vin reflect not just their quality but also their prestige, with some that are sought-after as much as their Grand Vin.
In most cases, the estate pays as much attention to the second label as they do to the top one, as they reason that these wines carry their house signature style, winning over fans who will also enjoy the Grand Vin. This makes hunting for a Second Vin a most enjoyable activity, as they offer great value and branding for adventurous drinkers. Whether year-end or beginning, it's a great time to buy some for yourself or gift them, as they make for presentable offerings to your host and friends.
Here are some of the wines that we carry at Grand Vin: