While St. Emilion is synonymous with renown names such as Cheval Blanc & Angelus, Chateau Pipeau is always an impressive example of what a focused estate can do to craft an affordable Bordeaux. Made with mostly Merlot and a dash of Cab Franc and Cab Sauvignon, they produce, like so many Bordeaux estates, a boatload every vintage (15,000 cases in some vintages) meaning that it's always accessible.
The '03, if you have some, is somewhere between the sweet spot and the mature phase and begging to be enjoyed. Lots of round and rich blackberry, tobacco, leather, spice box and cigar. The wine, while retaining it's muscle, is almost suave in its presentation. Even better, the '03 (nearly exhausted in the open market) runs in the low $30's. The good news........there's lots from the stellar '05, '09 & '10 vintage (~$40 -45 +/-). Close you eyes and it's not hard to imagine that this is an $80-100 wine!