Floral, Fragrant Bordeaux to Buy Now
Bordeaux drinkers know that the Margaux subregion is a special place.
2010 Château Deyrem Valentin Margaux: Bordeaux drinkers know that the Margaux subregion is a special place. Its soil, which has an especially high concentration of well-draining, heat-retaining gravel, tends to coax distinctive perfumey scents and candied-violet flavors from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. Understandably, such a prestigious appellation tends to yield high prices, and it's rare to find an exemplary bottle under $40. But this one is a major exception that's worth seeking out. Deyrem Valentin uses old-school techniques (judicious use of oak, fermentation with native yeasts) that result in wines with lithe textures and complex, delicate flavors. The 2010 is classic Margaux, and it's just as good as many bottles that cost twice as much.
Drink It With: Grilled steak, minimally adorned. Though it packs enough tannic punch to work best with red meat, good Bordeaux has subtle notes that you won't want to overwhelm.
Also Look For: More 2010 Bordeaux. It's an incredible vintage, and the last good one on record (2011, 2012 and 2013 were all disappointments). Bottles labeled "cru bourgeois" can be especially good values. (And here are some of Food & Wine's favorite producers in the region.)