Second is first: Clarence Haut Brion and Le Carillon de L’Angelus
The common thread between these two names is that they are both seconds wines of their respective first growths from Bordeaux. But they are worth highlighting because buying into this tier has been a very successful strategy for wine investors after the Bordeaux market hit a low in June 2014. Since then, Cult Wines’ Second Wine Index has increased by 63.4%.
The Grand Vin Haut Brion is doing very well in the market at the moment, and it is believed that its popularity will filter down to its second label, the Clarence Haut Brion. Although prices for the other second labels of Bordeaux first growth have been climbing, the Clarence could be the next to take off. It has all the credentials to follow the same pattern of its peers, which could represent growth of more than 50% over the next three years across a range of vintages.
Le Carillon de L’Angelus is another second wine to watch. It typically has a production of under 1,000 cases, but receives high scores while costing a fifth of the price of the Grand Vin. Angelus has a strong following in all consumer markets, and since the reclassification to Premier Grand Cru Classé A in 2012, it has been one of the best performing Bordeaux wines.
While the second wine strategy has been immensely popular within Bordeaux, the pattern of buying into a brand’s more affordable labels can also be applied to other regions. A well-diversified portfolio should have exposure to the likes of Second Flight, the second wine of Screaming Eagle, and The Maiden, the second wine of Harlan Estate, both of which come from California.