Just a few quick notes on what I consider good value Bordeaux. This past Friday (22 August 2008), dinner at Je Suis Gourmand hosted by Santi A., I had a great cacciucco (specially made by Marc, I hope he puts it on the menu) and goose leg confit with ceps ( great match with Bordeaux reds), the latter paired with:
1999 Grand Puy Lacoste (5th Growth, Pauillac) - My bottle. Decanted for around 45 minutes to an hour beforehand. Very typical and expressive of Pauillac in nose and flavors of graphite, cedar, blackcurrant, cassis, slight touch of roasted herbs, etc. Nice medium weight mid-palate, good texture and concentration (given the vintage), notably expansive mid-mouth. Quite earthy. Moderate complexity, slightly above-average depth but superior balance. Good finish.
A comfort wine, familiar and very Pauillac. At the $40+-$50 per bottle price range in, one would be hard-pressed to get a better Pauillac that's already drinking well already.
2003 Paveil de Luze (Cru Bourgeois, Margaux) - The Vigneron's bottle from Frédéric de Luze's stable. Popped and poured - no decanting. Another wine with good typicity despite the roasted-ripe vintage. At any price bracket, it matters a lot to me that a wine expresses its origins. This one does. An unpretentious, somewhat straightforward Margaux with smooth texture to its ripe dark cherries, touch of raspberry over mildly spiced, earthy cassis, hints of leather and pine and readily apparent wood (it is still quite young after all). A shade over medium-bodied. At under $25 per bottle in the US, it's something one could pop open anytime for no occasion and enjoy over dinners at home.
1997 Langoa Barton (3rd Growth, St-Julien) - Santi's bottle, decanted for barely 15 minutes before pouring. Ready, accessible and very easy to drink. Also medium-bodied - comparatively the lightest on the palate of the night's wines. Very decent considering the vintage. Enjoyable, charming, understated earthy cassis, herbs (dried thyme in there somewhere?), mere hint of licorice, cedar...not at all a bad price for a mature 3rd growth St-Julien at around $40. Drink up now and very soon.