Your most preferred 'super second' Bordeaux

Apply any criteria you see fit. Just to be clear, we are ostensibly talking about second growths from the 1855 classification (as opposed to second wines of classed growths). However the ‘super second’ leitmotif would not automatically be confined to Bordeaux second growths from the 1855 classification. Reasons for your choice would be interesting to contemplate.

Well, the wild card here is LMHB. Nowhere in 1855 (was it even independent of HB then?), and I believe Graves/Pessac-Leognan doesn’t have a numerical ranking, just classed/unclassed as of 1959. I guess most people would put it with Mouton, as clear FG quality when it’s on but maybe not the vintage-to-vintage consistency of a Latour or HB? Personally I’ve had mixed results; 86 and 88 disappointing, 01 quitegood but young, 83 terrific. Have never had the big vintages like 75, 82, 89.

Of the actual 1855 2nd growths, my choice would be PLL, but that’s probably because my palate tends towards a lusher, more Right Bank style. (Though I quite like Figeac which is the mirror image as a Cab Sauv-heavy Right Banker, and is PGCC-B/second-growth-equivalent in St. E) LLC and Montrose would probably be preferred by “classicists.” I’ve also had pretty good luck with Palmer (liked all of 1970, 78, and 83), which would have been a 2nd if it didn’t happen to be going through a slump right when they classified.

On the RB, Trotanoy leaps to mind as a producer that was kicking ass right through Bordeaux’s 1960s/70s drought and kept on truckin’ well into the region’s Parker/modern/spoof period. Though I suppose you could say they didn’t hit the heights that would have been expected of them in the 1980’s given the quality of many of the vintages.

Actual 2nd: Pichon Lalande. Right bank “whatever,” La Conseillante.

Château Léoville Poyferré St Julien
Château Léoville Las Cases St Julien

In some order:

La Mission Haut Brion
Leoville las Cases
Ducru Beaucaillou

Depends on the mood. Either Léoville Poyferré, probably first choice, then Pichon Lalande.

Palmer and Ducru

I thought Palmer was a 3rd growth.

LLC, Palmer, Ducru in no order.


Pichon Lalande

Palmer is a third growth per the 1855 classification.

My super seconds: Cos d’Estournel, Montrose, and Leoville Las Cases. If only allowed one: LLC.

Who cares? A whole bunch of overpriced dirt wines. That said, picked up a case of 2000 Pontet Canet. Yum. Half [stirthepothal.gif] response. [cheers.gif]

Pichon Lalande
Gruaud Larose (sentimental reasons)

Well among ‘original’ second growth chateaux, I’d have to lean towards LMHB and PL Baron. But the official 2nds are pretty few in number and all very high quality wines.

If you move out to more subjective “right bank super seconds” I’d have to go with Cheval Blanc. Can’t believe nobody here has mentioned that.

It is, but it’s still referred to as a “super second.”

It’s in the top classification of St Emilion. There’s no way to rationalize it as “second.”

Actual favorite: Baron
Sentimental favorite: Barton

To pay regard to the official 1855 classification, current pricing and typicity, i have to go for Leoville Barton since 2008.

I’m kind of amazed there have been multiple votes for Ducru - given the “failure rate” of these wines through multiple vintages of the '80’s, we must have voters with a high tolerance for pain :wink: