Clos du Marquis is (or more correctly was) the second wine of Leoville-Las-Cases from the St Julien region of Bordeaux. Such has been the success of Clos du Marquis that it has now become a wine 'in its own right' with the second wine having morphed into Le Petit Lion du Marquis de Las Cases. Increasingly we think there's real advanatges to the second wine over the grand vin. First of all is of course price. While we were able to pick up a case of the Clos du Marquis 2000 at a price of around £46 a bottle, the Leoville-Las-Cases grand vin is retailing at a staggering £250 per bottle.
Indeed, not only is the grand vin simply not five time better, we think the second wine gives it a real run its money in a straight comparison. If St Julien's are known for the balance between power and poise, the Marquis really does achieve this well with big rounded fruit flavours in the mouth and a satisfying drink on its own or with food. At the same time you never feel like you're breaking the bank. The Marquis 2000 scores a hugely resepctable 91 Parker points making it excellent value in a sky rocket vintage.
What's more of course, second wines are generally made to drink a little earlier than the grand vin so you can save on cellaring but the Marquis will still age well and a 1989 recently drank was simply fantastic with many more years left in it if so desired.
We've also drank this wine across a number of vintages and found good consistency and always satisfying drink. In a time where the grand vins are becomeing stratospherically expensive, great second wines like Marquis and Palmer's Alter Ego are a great place to rediscover Bordeaux value.