As readers of the blog will know, Asian demand for top Bordeaux brands has been a boon for the First Growths and their lesser productions in recent years. In 2011, however, the second wines of other top names also appear to be benefiting from brand-led demand.
The second wine of Mission Haut Brion (which sits in the no-man’s land between the Super Seconds and the Firsts) is an obvious candidate for brand-conscious buyers who are looking to spread risk away from the Firsts. The last five vintages of Chapelle Mission have increased in value by an average of 65 per cent over the past year, compared with 45 per cent for Carruades and 129 per cent for Petit Mouton. Quality and prices are clearly on the rise, though at present many of the vintages are still significantly cheaper than those of Clarence Haut Brion – the cheapest of the Firsts' second wines.
Is Chapelle beginning to follow the same trajectory as Clarence and its peers? If so, modestly priced vintages (some of which are available at under £500 per case) offer strong value, particularly as Chapelle is, on average, just 15 per cent of the price of Mission. The second wines of the Firsts, by contrast, cost between 20 and 35 per cent of the price of their grands vins.
The table below shows the prices and Wine Spectator scores of the last five vintages of Chapelle. Liv-ex trading members can view live markets here.
Prices for 12x75cl cases stored in bond. Scores from Winespectator.com.