If You Think Bordeaux Needs to Be Expensive, Think Again

Posted March 27, 2015

WineLibrary Staff


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When you hear Bordeaux what do you think? First growths like Chateau Lafite? Super-seconds like Leoville? Maybe garagiste wines like La Mondotte? You think about a bunch of crazy-expensive wine. Even the word Bordeaux sounds expensive. You know you’re fancy when you have a cool letter like X in your name and you don’t even bother to pronounce it!

But if you look hard enough, and long enough, you can discover something amazing: Value Bordeaux. That might sound like an oxymoron, but after years of scouring the region, we have become extremely good at teasing out spectacular offers from Bordeaux that come in at prices reasonable enough for weeknight drinking. Check it out:

2012 Chateau Du Vallier 1er Cru Cotes De Bordeaux

If you learn nothing else from this article, we desperately want you to learn about Cotes de Bordeaux. Situated directly across the Gironde river from venerated appellations like Haute Medox and Margeaux, Cotes de Bordeaux borders other right-bank appellations you might have heard of like Bourg and Blaye. The value coming out of CdB is absolutely outstanding as showcased by the 2012 Chateau de Vallier. This Merlot-dominated blend is absolutely gigantic, with notes of concentrated black fruit, cacao nibs, and gentle but persistent tannins. It’s good to drink now. It’s good to sit for a few years. It’s only thirty bucks. This is value bordeaux at its best.


2011 Chateau Haut Bernadon

NEVER ORDER ANOTHER CASE OF PINOT GRIGIO EVER AGAIN. Bordeaux Blanc is a shockingly-overlooked white wine that should be your new standard when it comes to low-cost, high-volume options for weddings, pool parties, or roof parties. Clean, bright white fruit, vibrant acidity, and the addition of a touch of Muscadelle make this wine a real standout for $10.

2007 Chateau Rayne Vigneau

Sauternes are the international kinds of dessert wine. With a reputation like that they tend to command some pretty high prices, but once again, we’ve come to your wallet’s rescue by finding something absolutely astonishing for the price. This wine will has just made it into its drinking window, but could easily go for another ten years. It’s intense, unctuous, and about 10x less expensive than something like Yquem.

Product Label.

Chateau Du Vallier 1er Cru...

91 Wine Enthusiast

Item: 85895

750 mL

Retail: $40.00

$13.01 per btl

Product Label.

Chateau Rayne Vigneau Sauternes Half...

95 Neal Martin - Robert Parke...

Item: 85992

375 mL

Retail: $35.00

$29.99 per btl

Item: 87286

750 mL

Retail: $14.99

$8.89 per btl