Bordeaux’s second growths—traditionally a haven for Bordeaux drinkers who are wary of first-growth prices.
To give you an idea of the variances in price between the First Growths and Second Growth Bordeaux at the time, First Growth Bordeaux wine was trading for more than 3,000 French Francs per barrel. While Second Growth Bordeaux wine was selling for an average of 2,500 and 2700 French Francs per barrel. If only the spread was that close today!
To help you understand what the term Growths means, think of it like this. The best wines of Bordeaux were placed in ranking categories. Each of the ranking categories were called Growths.
A wine with the ranking of First Growth was considered the best wine in Bordeaux. While the rankings were in theory about quality, the selling price factored heavily into which wines were ranked into their respective categories and of course, the most expensive wines were The First Growth Bordeaux Wines.
Look at it this way, a First Growth is an A+, a Second Growth is an A-, a Third Growth is a B+, a Fourth Growth is a B and a Fifth Growth is a C+. With the exception of an A+ for a First Growths, the grades may or may not be applicable, but they provide you with a good idea on what the term First Growth means in relationship to the other Classified Growths in Bordeaux.
Another interesting fact about the 1855 Classification is noticed when you take a look at how the chateau were organized in each growth class. The estates are not listed alphabetically. Instead the chateau were placed in the order of their ranking in each category.
Take the First Growth Classified growths. Lafite Rothschild appears first because at the time of the Classification, they were considered to produce the best wine, which also sold for more money than all the other classified growths.
Within 1855 Classification System, candidates of Second Growths are listed alphabetically below:
Ch.Cos d’ Estournel