Top-Vintage Bordeaux for Under $20
You don't have to be a hoarder or deep-pocketed auction-goer to drink well-aged wine. Here, we spotlight affordable old bottles to buy now.
2000 Château Lanessan Haut-Médoc: It's currently the prime drinking window for an ocean of good 2000 Bordeaux, but much of it doesn't offer great value. The year was hailed by critics as a near-perfect vintage, so many bottles are priced accordingly. But there are exceptions, like this one from an underrated property near the famed St-Julien sub-region.
The (Wonderful) Effects of Age: Here are a few scents you're supposed to detect in good aged Bordeaux: Leather (check), spice (here too), tobacco (in this case, a very sweet unlit-cigar note). Fruit fades over time, but there's still plenty of the expected cassis, plus dark berries. The palate is very pure, which is wine-speak meaning it's not hindered by any faint unpleasant undertones. It's just extremely enjoyable, textbook Bordeaux.
Drink It With: A rich lamb dish would be excellent, but the important thing is that it's paired with fat and protein, both of which make tannic wines taste better. The tannins in this firm, Cabernet-based bottling are at just the right level to be tempered by a nice piece of red meat.