How does one start a foray into Bordeaux without first acquiring a ski mask, automatic weapons, and safe-cracking skills?
While there are certainly wine budgets that exceed my own (many on here in fact), I do spend a fair amount on wine and can’t seem to figure a way to taste enough Bordeaux to make intelligent purchasing decisions.
As background, I started like a lot of people who went to college in the bay area as a fan of Napa Cabs. I also spent some time in the NW and developed a taste for Oregon pinots. More recently, I started to learn more about and buy more French wine. Based on friends’ generosity and advice I started drinking and purchasing Rhone wines (north and south) and some new world Rhone blends (e.g. Ridge’s Syrah and Syrah/Grenache blends). All that said, I have recently tried and loved some Bordeaux and some Bordeaux style wines. Now, I would like to learn more about Bordeaux, what areas' wines I enjoy, what is worth buying, what is worth holding onto, etc…. My lone experience with a first growth was a revelatory bottle of 1990 Margaux. It was two years ago and I swear I can still smell it.
All that said, I have played around on Wine Bid and taken some shots at 2nd and 3rd growths from Margaux and Pauillac with a little age. They seemed well priced based on winesearcher and cellar tracker, but they are by no means cheap and I would love some suggestions as to obtaining or tasting wines that will give me a good roadmap to the region and allow me to learn best what I like so I can prioritize my purchases - until I learn to rob banks at least.
There may not be a correct answer, but if anyone has suggestions I am all ears.