It was once an honour to be a second wine, and rightly so! In the meantime, it is almost a stigma to be only a second wine, the "two" just weighs on one's back. The wine scene has changed in recent years. People want "first wines" and if they can't afford them (or don't want them), there are alternatives: many excellent wines - not from the Bordelais, from other wine regions, but made "à la bordelais" - Bordeaux blends, as they are offered in all conceivable variations by many (also well-known and famous) wineries. I recently wrote about the Hess Vineyards Glen Carlou (Paarl, South Africa) flagship wine here in: "This special cuvée seems to me made, well made. It already starts with the five grape varieties permitted in Bordeaux - even Malbec is in it (16 percent) and probably ends with the ageing in French barriques, for 18 months" (see "Drunk" from 17 April). And it is a "first wine" - "second wines" actually only exist in Bordeaux - so without the two on the back - an excellent wine for just under 20 francs. It would now be unfair to compare the wine - vintage 2009 (a boy's spur) - with the "oldie" (vintage 1996) from Margaux. There are not only 13 years in between, but also other "wine philosophies", a changed wine world. It is also unfair to always look at the price. Back then, Pavillon Rouge cost about 50 CHF, today you have to pay over 100 "Schweizerfränkli" for it. South African Bordeaux, on the other hand, costs less than a fifth of that. These are worlds apart!