These are shaky times for many Bordeaux wineries. Though the much-hyped 2000 and 2003 vintages saw prices skyrocket for the region's top 50 to 100 wines, the majority of Bordeaux producers are facing a backlog of unsold bottles from recent vintages and stiff new competition from around the world. Given that there are some 9,000 wineries in Bordeaux, it's a buyer's market for Old World-wine lovers who appreciate the refined Bordeaux style.
Lesser-known place names, like Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Canon-Fronsac and Lalande-de-Pomerol, are a good bet. Second labels of famous wineries (often wines from younger vines) are also worth investigating, as are petits châteaux wines; many are labeled cru bourgeois.
Vintages to Buy
There are quite a few: the overlooked but good 2001s and 2002s, the famed 2000s and the lovely, ready-to-drink 1999s.