Here's some food for thought...
I met briefly with Hélène Garcin-Lévêque today. She owns Poesia, a very promising new project in Argentina. Her family also owns Clos L'Église in Pomerol, along with a few other small properties, such as Château Barde-Haut and Château Haut-Bergey. She's traveled to the United States for the Bordeaux, not to work the market for her Argentinean project. Considering the hype the 2005s from Argentina have received, I was a little surprised by this.
For so long, Bordeaux châteaus made their wines, and brokers handled the sales. The world came to Bordeaux to buy wine, so there was no problem. And in a great vintage, it all sold quickly. Today, though, that same world is buying many other wines. While the top two dozen or so Bordeaux properties maintain their name recognition, it's the smaller and lesser-known properties who suddenly have to work the market themselves.
Garcin-Lévêque mentioned how every retailer she spoke to complained of high Bordeaux prices--but then noticed that all they bought were the most expensive wines. None of them seemed to care about the properties with less name recognition, irregardless of their quality.
Probably more than any other wine region, Bordeaux is the label drinker's region. Funny how the region's history and prestige in some ways works against it today. A new Argentinean wine? Sure, you'd be hip to try that. But a Pessac-Léognan you'd never heard of? Hmmmm, suddenly some folks aren't so open.
What about you? Is Bordeaux an area still ripe for experimentation, or has the price buzz for the top wines scared you off? Do you have an under-the-radar Bordeaux you like (mine in recent years have been Château Gigault and Château Sociando-Mallet)?