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We Asked 11 Sommeliers: Which Bordeaux Wine Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck? (2024)

When you’re shopping for bottles from Bordeaux, prices can get steep. This legendary region produces some of the best wines in the world, with old-vine grapes that offer a signature intensity and structure that can’t be replicated anywhere else. That means Bordeaux and similarly prolific regions have name-brand appeal that allows their producers to price their wines higher, which can make it even harder to get your money’s worth at the bottle shop.

What counts as a bang for your buck is subjective, of course, especially when it comes to the priciest wines on the shelf. That’s why we’re relying on the experts’ advice on how to find the best values in the category. We asked sommeliers from across the U.S. to recommend the bottles and producers from Bordeaux that pack a punch without breaking the bank. Their answers cover the entire region, and while all their picks aren’t budget wines, they’re sure to outperform their price point. Here’s what the pros said.

The best bang-for-your-buck Bordeaux wines, according to sommeliers:

Wines from Entre-Deux-Mers
Baron de Brane
Château Haut Rian Côtes de Bordeaux Merlot Pure Gourmandise Vin Sans Soufre Ajoute 2022
Château Chauvin Grand Cru Classé 2010
Château Biac Felix de Biac Cadillac Cotes de Bordeaux 2017
Château de Pez Saint-Estèphe
Château Pédesclaux
Château Respide-Médeville
Clos des Lunes Lune Blanche
Château Sociando Mallet 2015
Château d’Issan Blason d’Issan 2018
Château Cos d’Estournel Pagodes de Cos 2016

“A hidden gem of Bordeaux is the Entre-Deux-Mers region, meaning ‘between two seas.’ The region is renowned for its exceptional white wines, and offering crisp, fresh, and incredibly reasonably priced bottles.” —Keith Foreman, director of restaurants and bars, InterContinental San Diego, San Diego

“Bordeaux prices have escalated to all-time highs — like most wines — but I have found value in second-label wines from great houses. We’re currently pouring Baron de Brane, which is the second label from the Margaux Château Brane Cantenac. Selected from vats at the house that show youthfulness and suppleness, [it’s] approachable, dense in minerality, and a perfect bistro wine with long, dark red fruits rounding it out.” —Matthew Brodbine, beverage director, Pasjoli, Santa Monica, Calif.

“Château Haut Rian Côtes de Bordeaux Merlot Pure Gourmandise Vin Sans Soufre Ajoute 2022. This pleasing, joyful Bordeaux comes from a family-owned, certified-organic estate that makes its Pure Gourmandise wine without sulfur, for those who like to go without. It’s easy to drink young and reminds me of the type of Bordeaux I’d like to gulp down with an ice-cold beef tartare studded with capers.” —Katie Morton, wine director, Eliza, Hudson Valley, N.Y.

“Château Chauvin Grand Cru Classé 2010 [from] Saint-Émilion. The combination of limestone and clay soils in the region, coupled with the favorable weather conditions in 2010, allowed the grapes to achieve optimal phenolic ripeness [to better] express the specific characteristics of the vineyard. Notes of black cherry, lavender, and baking spice paired with well-integrated tannins creates a medium- to full-bodied wine enjoyable from the very first sip to the very last.” —Eamon Pereyra, sommelier, The Peacock at Austin Proper, Austin, Texas

“Finding good value in Bordeaux isn’t always easy, but if you look outside of the obvious appellations of Medoc, Saint-Émilion, and Pomerol, there are some tremendously good bargains. Cadillac in Côtes de Bordeaux is home to some great producers such as Château Biac, whose Merlot-driven Felix Bordeaux Blend is generous and bold yet fresh. It has beautifully integrated oak, and you’d find a 2017 release on retail shelves for about $24.” —Gareth Rees, beverage manager, ilili, NYC

“The Château de Pez Saint-Estèphe Bordeaux is a fantastic option with a very good price. It engages all of your senses and pairs deliciously with cured cheeses and red meats.” —Domingo Abreu, sommelier, Lopesan Costa Bávaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

“Château Pedesclaux is my go-to and favorite Bordeaux when thinking about the best bang for your buck.” —Jay Dozza, sommelier, Benjamin Prime, NYC

“Bordeaux is a region that is known for making some of the most sought-after wines in the world — and with the highest price points. However, there are still some great value wines coming from Bordeaux. One of those gems is Château Respide-Médeville from the heart of Grave. The current vintage is 2018; it’s 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 40 percent Merlot, and aged in partial new oak barrels. The nose offers notes of black and red currant with savory notes of dried herbs, and the wine has a good amount of structure and freshness. This wine truly over-delivers for the price.” —Michelle Morin, director of beverage, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif.

“Second or even third labels from large châteaux can often be great ways for larger producers to keep connected with the marketplace and graduate younger or newer drinkers up the ladder. My go-to is Clos des Lunes Lune Blanche for a fresh yet textured take on the lesser-known Bordeaux, Bordeaux Blanc!” —Will Taylor, sommelier, La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, NYC

“My best bang-for-your-buck Bordeaux is Sociando Mallet. The estate is located on the northern edge of the Haut Médoc on Bordeaux’s Left Bank and over-delivers for the price point. We have multiple vintages on the list at Grill 23, with the highlight being the 2015 for $135. At that price point, there is no better bottle of Bordeaux.” —Hugo Bensimon, advanced sommelier and beverage director, Grill 23, Boston

“The best values from Bordeaux we have been enjoying are Left Bank, second-label bottlings of second and third growths from the classic vintages of 2018 and 2016. Both vintages are drinking great right when they’re opened. Two of our affordable favorites are Château d’Issan Blason d’Issan 2018 and Château Cos d’Estournel Pagodes de Cos 2016.” —Lindsey Geddes, master sommelier, Seamark Seafood & Cocktails, Boston

*Image retrieved from Lustre Art Group via stock.adobe.com

The article We Asked 11 Sommeliers: Which Bordeaux Wine Offers the Best Bang for Your Buck? (2024) appeared first on VinePair.

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