On a warm June day I was lost on the winding roads of Canon-Fronsac, an appellation on Bordeaux’s Right Bank. When I finally turn up more than an hour late at Château Moulin-Pey-Labrie, owner Grégoire Hubau makes a few witty digs about wine critics rarely finding their way to this little-known region. We head for his cellar, hung with amusing portraits painted by an artist friend, where I taste my way through a line up of a half dozen surprisingly delicious, savory, plush vintages from his two chateaux. Their prices? A mere $20 to $30.

His 2006 Chateau Haut Lariveau is everything Merlot should be, darkly fruity, soft, and round, while the 1988, 2003, and 2008 Moulin-Pey-Labrie (Merlot with a dash of Malbec) are bigger, richer, more concentrated. I’d happily drink all with dinner.

As we wander out to a grassy area dotted with sculptures overlooking his hillside vineyard, Hubau says, “Here in Bordeaux you have big business wine and pleasure wine. I want to make pleasure wine.”

Photo: A vineyard in Bourdeaux. Credit: Anyka / istockphoto