In which the NY Times discovers the 95% of Bordeaux that's not classified

The article has a few biases and misconceptions, but the affordable Bordeaux the journalist chose did rather well.

Alex R.

Dying to know where he found 2009 Smith Haut Lafitte for $50. I’m in for a case.

He didn’t. It’s the second wine of SHL. Several of the listings under the main chateau name are.

Interesting take, I just spent a 5 days in Bordeaux, on the right bank mainly in Entre Deux Mers region, and found several very good, compelling wines for $20 or less. Sure, there is an ocean of generic, decent wines made there, but if you just do a bit of research on the Bordeaux and Bordeaux Superieur wines, you can find some really great QPRs.

As long as you are onsite, in Bordeaux, I’m sure this is true.

Quite often, however, I find myself outside of France.

The concept of “local” is surprisingly powerful.

I think you are certainly correct. I actually don’t know that I agree with his strategy of focusing on second wines. I’m regularly underwhelmed by second wines and would typically rather have the first wine of a less famous chateau. There are a ton of really spectacular bordeaux readily available for around 20 or 30 dollars. There are so many great lists here on WB threads that it seems silly to start listing them, but I think finding quality bordeaux at great prices is actually almost laughably easy if you look around.

Mike, I disagree with your comments regarding availability there vs here, because there is just so much available here. I am not speaking of every market, of course, but if you can canvas internet retailers on a national level then it is really very simple. I think that the price is creeping on most these days, and obviously the top wines have been priced out for me and most others, but I am quite happy with what is available.

A quick example, la Vieille Cure 2009 from PC recently at $17 is, IMO, an incredible deal.

WOW, when did PC have it for $17?! I bought a 6’er for $26.99. At $17, I’m grabbing cases.

Weekend sale mid-August. I only grabbed 6 and am already kicking myself. Who knows when it will get in, but I’m in no rush.

Michael, I’ve lived in Houston and trolled enough wine stores in NY, Boston, SF and Dallas to understand that the price and availability of French wine is greatly enhanced in major urban areas (vis a vis where I live, for example).

That said, the value of “local” is greatly under appreciated.

I guess a lot of that comes down to where you live. For instance, I live on the MO/KS border. My “local” wine options aren’t really very good. They are, in some cases, making progress, but I won’t be holding my breath. I like my eggs, milk, vegetables, and sometimes meat to be very local, but not my wine. In that sense, France is far away, but so is CA. If I lived out there I’m sure it would at least impact my buying habits, though it wouldn’t reverse them. But the point of this thread is BDX pricing, and though BDX doesn’t dominate in my cellar by any means, I do think that at the value end BDX offers some stellar deals.

Are you implying that the wines only tasted good and compelling because I was in Bordeaux?

The availability in France, as well as in major metropolitan areas in the USA make the exploration of non-classed BDX much easier and more rewarding. Failing that it is a crap shoot.

I’m implying that wines consumed locally tend to taste best and cost less.

You are of course correct. Damn. I need to read slower.
Still pretty happy at the prices I paid for my 2009 SHL though…

"I think you are certainly correct. I actually don’t know that I agree with his strategy of focusing on second wines.’’

I think if you read the article you’ll find that this is not a strategy I encourage, even if our top wine happened to be a second label.

I do apologize. I originally only read the first part of the article and then clicked through the selections. It was surprising though, to see so many second wines in there. I see now that you include a caveat that you have mixed feelings about second wines. I guess my point was, as you yourself note, a preference for a first wine. However I also see that you focused on the Medoc and Graves, and certainly some of the great value brands that I had in mind are outside of those areas.

Unless you live where I do. [wink.gif]
Muscodine wine [cry.gif]
at least our local shrimp are good

Good article. Of course the prices he quotes are quite high for most of those wines. He should use wine-searcher. newhere

+1 on Chateau Meyney.

Never been impressed by a second wine. A lot are from very young vines and I don’t see them improving with age; fine for $20, a joke at $45-$100. There are loads of first wines from $30+ that have proven track records, surely only the terminally lazy (or stupid) are paying more for less.

I found this informative and interesting especially as it relates to a couple of producers heretofore unfamiliar to me.