The 2005 Bordeaux, considered the finest overall vintage of its kind since 2000, has already hit record high prices, especially for the most prestigious and best-known wines. But it's still possible to find reasonably priced and highly drinkable examples—if you know where to look. The following wines represent excellent to outstanding value and most will continue to evolve over the next 10 years or more.
2005 Les Grands Mâcon-Chânes (Médoc) - The 2005 possesses a dense, chocolate, smoky, cassis character, with a full body and a serious, well-endowed palate, good purity, ripe tannin, and a classic long finish. A sleeper, it will be ready to drink in two to three years and should keep for 12 to 15 years. $19-$24
2005 Château Gloria (St. Julien) - One of the finest Glorias I have ever tasted, the dense ruby/purple-tinged 2005 reveals a big, sweet perfume of black olives, black cherries, cassis, spice box, and cedar. Boasting terrific fruit and more power and richness than usual, it will provide delicious drinking during its first two decades of life. $27-$34
2005 Lanessan (Haut-Médoc) - This may be the finest Lanessan I have ever tasted. Full-bodied, with terrific concentration, sweet tannin, and beautiful length as well as richness, this splendid wine can be drunk in two to three years or cellared for two decades. $16-$20
2005 Pipeau (St. Emilion) - Readers looking for a tasty St. Emilion that can be enjoyed at a young age should check out this value pick. A big, deep, full-bodied wine, it should be drinkable in two to three years and last for 15 or more. $22-$28
2005 Barde-Haut (St. Emilion) - This sensational 2005 Barde-Haut, under the leadership of Hélène Garcin, offers abundant amounts of sweet berry fruit intermixed with licorice, pain grillé, and spice notes. This plush, pure, medium- to full-bodied effort will provide delicious drinking in three to four years and last for two decades. $30-$38
Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.