France: Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois
What is Cru Bourgeois?
For the last four years Bordeaux has been generating headlines for the high prices of its wines. Even Christian Moueix, head of the family that owns such rarities as Chateau Petrus feels compelled to say that, "Bordeaux is unrealistically priced. You cannot put in on a wine list anymore."
All the noise about Bordeaux pricing is focused on the 175 classified growths, and increasingly, the unclassified superstars of Pomerol and crus of Saint-Emilion. Among the 5,000 labels in Bordeaux there are still plenty of inexpensive wines around. In fact, well chosen red Bordeaux can still be among the best value red wines to put in your cellar and a good place to start, surprisingly, is the Médoc. Surprisingly because this is the region of Bordeaux where value and quality often seem so far apart as to defy the conventional laws of commerce.
The designation used by nearly all non-Cru Classé estate-produced wines in the Medoc is Cru Bourgeois. Tasting such wines blind in the Médoc each year, we find many wines that are just as good as, if not better than, many leading Cru Classés. The following Cru Bourgeois estates come highly recommended for those that want to buy great claret to drink for $20 or less. The top tier, in particular, is a real insider's scoopyou will not be disappointed here.
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