About ten years ago I went to a Bordeaux tasting at the Wine Exchange in Tustin (Jim Dietz, you were there that day) featuring lower priced good values from the 2000 vintage. This was the first bottle we've opened from the stash purchased that day, and the price tag is still on the bottle: $16.99. What a steal that was for the wine we enjoyed last night! From the loftier elevations of the Cotes de Francs, this wine is 35% each malbec and cab franc with 20% merlot and 10% cab sauv. Not sure if that much malbec is typical of a Cotes de Francs or not, but I don't believe I've ever had any Bordeaux in which the malbec was so primary.
In the nose it's unmistakably claret with hints of youthful black huckleberry fruit and interesting iron-rich secondary development in the same whiff. Similar on the palate with a high degree of minerality, some black licorice and and a green note from the cab franc that comes across as wild brush--it reminded me of a place I used to ride horses as a child in Southern California. Excellent body and concentration suggest a wine a lot more expensive. Stylistically it doesn't seem entirely old school, and yet it was not at all modern or 'international'. Drank well without decanting and is probably just entering it's prime drinking window where it should hold or even continue to develop for years. Outstanding value.
JJ Buckley in California currently has the 2010 for about $20.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov