In some ways, Bordeaux is a victim of its own success. With the most famous wines – Margaux, Latour, Pétrus, Haut-Brion, Lafite-Rothschild – selling for $800, $1,000 a bottle, many consumers find it difficult to believe that a Bordeaux at $15 or $20 is drinkable. They need not be concerned; there are approximately 7,000 chateaus in the Bordeaux appellation, and many make remarkably good wines at reasonable prices. The most famous wines are invariably excellent, but prices reflect cachet and scarcity as much as quality. A succession of good vintages makes specific vintages less important. Starting with 1990, and except for 1991 and 1992, Bordeaux has had a amazing streak of good years, with 1990, 2000 and 2005 ranking among the best ever. Cabernet sauvignon may be the most important grape in Bordeaux, but Americans have often been partial to the softer, fruitier, merlot-based wines of St.-Émilion and Pomerol. These days, though, it’s hard to go wrong with wines from anywhere in Bordeaux in almost any price range.