$15 Bordeaux Buddies

Is Bordeaux making a comeback in the US?  Probably not, but there is a noticeable increase in the number of sub-$20 Bordeaux on shelves these days.  If you're a regular reader, you might remember the recently recommended Chateau La Grange Clinet, a ready-right-now steal at $16.  Of the same vein are these two Merlot-dominated wines, both ringing in at around $15.

2010 Chateau Haut-Plantey Haut-Medoc $15
Needs a little air time, but an hour or two gives it time to unpack and unwind.  The result is a well-made, easy drinking, and versatile meal wine.  The plump dark fruit delivered in a moderately restrained manner will appeal to many palates accustomed to US domestic wines.

2009 Chateau Jouanin Castillon $15
Cut from finer fabric than its partner to the left, this is another example of a wine with ample dark fruit made in a somewhat international style.  However, what's different about this wine is its Bordealais refinement and elegance.  It delivers all the drinking pleasure - and then some - as the Haut-Plantey, but adds a dimension of grace and complexity that makes this a wine worth your effort to seek out.