20 Best Wine Brands, Ranked

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Choosing a Bordeaux brand to include in this list shouldn’t be difficult, mainly because Bordeaux already did the work for us way back in 1855. The problem lies in both accessibility and quality: what is readily available and affordable, yet still delicious? Chateau Margaux, for example, does amazing things – but it will often cost you a few hundred dollars for a bottle. Enter Château le Puy, a house run by the Amoreau family, which has been producing wine since 1610.

Fifteen generations of practice have perfected the Château le Puy product. Their reds are superb examples of Right Bank Bordeaux, emphasizing the Merlot grape with backing singers Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc fleshing out the wines for structured, fruity, yet ultimately well-balanced reds. The château also plants some of its plots with Sémillon, one of the two main white grape varieties authorized in Bordeaux. And they even make a lovely rosé, which isn’t common among big Bordeaux producers but is a welcome addition to Le Puy’s arsenal. This rosé is far from Provençal style, instead offering a deep pink hue and an explosion of rich, concentrated fruit on the palate.

Château le Puy, like almost every other Bordeaux producer, has bottles that cost a pretty penny. But they also have options starting at $20, making it a no-brainer if you’re looking to dive Bordeaux on a budget.

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Jean H. Vannatta