Second Labels - Printable Version

+- WineBoard (
+-- Forum: TASTING NOTES & WINE SPECIFIC FORUMS (/forumdisplay.php?fid=200)
+--- Forum: Bordeaux (/forumdisplay.php?fid=18)
+--- Thread: Second Labels (/showthread.php?tid=6097)

- chelzo - 01-15-2001 03:22 PM

Why do some wineries, particularly in Bordeaux, produce a second label ie. Pavillon Rouge de Chateau Margaux, and what is generally the quality of such wines. Do any other wineries produce "seconds" such as California or Burgundy?

- chittychattykathy - 01-16-2001 02:53 AM

Major Californian seconds from the bigger wineries, and some thirds too.

- winoweenie - 01-16-2001 08:02 AM

Hi Chelzo and welcome to the board. The major reason almost ALL wineries have some kind of second label is this gives them a place to put barrels of wine not up to the regular bottlings quality. These are comprised normally of young vines just coming into production, or berries that weren`t quite ripe, etc. In Calif, BV uses "Beau Tour, Beringer "Founders Reserve, Caymus Liberty School, etc as their second labels( Or their price leaders ) A lot of wineries simply sell off their inferior juice in bulk. Thus when you see "Cellared and Bottled By" on a label, the winery either purchased the grapes or purchased the juice in bulk. " Estate Bottled" denotes the grapes were grown and the wine made by Whoevers on the label. A lot more but this is the condensed version. winoweenie

- pickadley - 01-30-2001 12:35 PM

The Second Lable wines are, to sum it up for you, the winerys no LOVE put into the wine.

- Innkeeper - 01-30-2001 12:58 PM

Hess, for one, does a splendid job with their second label.

- barnesy - 01-30-2001 03:00 PM

King Estate has a second label called Lorane Valley. I prefer the second label much more because they use steel fermentation while I've found most of the king estate labels to be oak bombs.


- zenda2 - 09-19-2001 08:54 AM

Let me give you a for-instance. California's Laurel Glen makes second and third label wines that are very tasty and very good values, IMHO. I buy Patrick Campbell's Counterpoint '97 here for $16 or so, a heckuva buy on a Cal Cab that's in my price range. The third label (Quintana) isn't marketed in my state, but the forth label is. 'Terra Rosa' used to come from assorted North Coast juice years ago until the price of Cal cabs got too high. So Campbell goes to Argentina and Chile every year, contracts with locals there for good grapes and makes the wine back in CA after crush. This years Terra Rosa ($10) is particularly good, IMHO. I won't pay $10 for just any old Argentinian/Chilean red, this stuff is worth it. As in 'tastes like wine worth $25-$30'. I don't dismiss second labels, some of them get made with just as much love as the first label, but never the VERY BEST grapes. In a good year, the almost-best grapes can still be very good indeed.

- wondersofwine - 09-19-2001 11:41 AM

Isn't in true in France (Bordeaux, Burgundy) that vintners are limited in how many tons of grapes they can produce for so many hectares and use the vineyard label or cru label? Doesn't this result sometimes in labeling some of the production with a lesser designation or even as table wine? Or do they simply stop picking grapes if they exceed the tonnage?

- Innkeeper - 09-19-2001 11:51 AM

Frequently it is the surplus tonnage that goes into the second and third labels. This does not necessarily result in a lesser designation. The second label can even carry the same appellation as the primary. Of course all the grapes harvested, even on a small plot will not be equal. Therefore the better ones go into the primary label. In an exceptional year, the difference is negligible, and this is a good time to get good values with second labels.

- wondersofwine - 09-19-2001 11:58 AM

Thanks, IK.

- Thomas - 09-19-2001 04:17 PM

WW, you is ouddaline on dis one.

Yes, the reason you put down is true--but not always. IK's point is an accurate one, re, Bordeaux and other French regions. I've got a couple of Bordeaux second labels that are spectacular bargains.

- winoweenie - 09-19-2001 06:39 PM

Foodie, If you go back on the Cab thread I think you'll find that I've made a substantial investment in 2000 bordeaux futures, and the bulk of them are the 2nd labels of the first,second and third growths. However in the normal vintages the 2nd labels are as outlined....Not good enough to be bottled as their top wines. And if, by any stretch of the imiagination you think that a B.V Beau Tour Compares to the Rutherford or the Reserve bottlings, or that Caymus Liberty School is the quality of their Napa Estate then you need a tune-up on your taster. The question was if Calif had second bottlings and why they existed. And yes I agree that the Hess Select is a nice bottle but it sure as Heck 'aint no Collection in any way, shape or form. WW

- Thomas - 09-19-2001 06:46 PM

I ain't disagreeing with what you just said, except that the question wa sin two parts: the first part was about Bordeaux seconds.

- Bucko - 09-19-2001 08:37 PM

Montrose is a classic example. In 1990 they had a LOT of good fruit. The second bottling, La Dame du Montrose is a killer wine. I bought a case of it and wish that I'd purchased ten.

- winoweenie - 09-20-2001 06:53 AM

My hind-sight is always 100/100. 10 years after every vintage I start singing the ole' " Wish I'da bought more of (name here)"WW