you're doing it wrong. Good quality village level wines are really nice bottles of wine. From a great producer, they are excellent bottles.
"better designation, more affordable producer" is a total no, and this is where you'll get burned. It's also the hardest thing to overcome. We need Manton in here to talk about the Jadot Corton he got for $45-50 and the Bachelet "Bourgogne Rouge" he got for $40.