It's the standard by which all other wine regions are measured.
It generally commands the highest price tag globally, from France and Great Britain to the U.S. and China.
The labels and chateaux are legendary and known like the great names of film, music and sports. Lafite-Rothschild, Margaux, Latour, Cheval Blanc, Haut-Brion. It's the murderer's row of the worlds most sought after wines.
But what you may not know is that there are some great buys at your local wine shop. Prices that won't break your bank.
You may ask, why bother going for an unknown when you can have a big name??
That's where one of the great lessons of wine comes into play. It's all about terroir.
"Terroir" is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and wine making savoir-faire, which contribute to give its specific personality to the wine.
Bordeaux vineyards cover approximately 520 square miles, and not all of that are Latour, Lafite and Margaux. Those are first growths from Medoc, Graves and St. Emilion.
There are many others who don't have the name recognition, but come from much of the same terroir. And that is what can translate to quality for a lower price point.
This story from the Wisconsin State Journal covers some of the great value-priced Bordeaux and talks about theorizing what the "great" years are.
The photo above is a wine I bought during my last visit to El Paso. It cost around $15 at Spec's on the west side. It was a great wine for the price. It's a Medoc that I'm willing to open my wallet for.
These are the kinds of treasures which I hope everyone can enjoy during the holiday season.