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Bordeaux Blends

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine...

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

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  • Chateau Pontet-Canet 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS98
    • D96
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    • RP94
    • WS93
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  • Verite Le Desir 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
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  • Verite La Muse 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP100
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  • Verite La Joie 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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    • D96
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  • Jonata Fenix 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • RP93
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  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS99
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    • WE98
    • D96
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  • Newton The Puzzle 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    • RP91
    Currently Unavailable $129.00
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  • Chateau Pavie (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • WE98
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  • Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard EE 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
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  • Chateau Clinet 2004
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
    • RP90
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  • Chateau Haut-Brion Le Clarence de Haut Brion (1.5 Liter Magnum Futures Pre-Sale) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    • Opus One (stained labels) 1997
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WS94
      Currently Unavailable $399.97
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    • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP100
      • WS97
      • WE95
      • W&S93
      Currently Unavailable $419.97
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    • Joseph Phelps Insignia 1994
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • RP98
      • WS93
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    • Chateau Rauzan-Segla 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
      • JS98
      • WS97
      • WE96
      • W&S96
      • RP93
      Currently Unavailable $159.97
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    • Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • WE95
      • WS93
      • JS93
      Currently Unavailable $179.97
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    • Chateau Palmer 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
      • RP97
      • WE96
      • W&S96
      • WS95
      • JS94
      Currently Unavailable $409.99
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    • Chateau Palmer 1998
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
      • RP91
      • WS90
      Currently Unavailable $299.97
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    • Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • WS98
      • RP98
      • V98
      • JS98
      • WW96
      • WE95
      Currently Unavailable $699.97
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    • Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1996
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • WS94
      • RP94
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      599 97
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    • Chateau Lynch-Bages 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • WE96
      • W&S96
      • JS96
      • WS93
      • RP92
      • CG90
      Currently Unavailable $199.97
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      199 97
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    • Chateau L'Evangile 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
      • WS100
      • RP95
      Currently Unavailable $339.97
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      339 97
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    • Chateau Lafite Rothschild (torn label) 1975
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
      • RP92
      Currently Unavailable $599.97
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      599 97
      599 97
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    • Chateau Figeac 2005
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
      • WE95
      • WS95
      • W&S93
      • CG91
      • RP90
      Currently Unavailable $169.97
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      169 97
      169 97
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    • Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (stained label) 1982
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
      • RP96
      • WS91
      Currently Unavailable $399.97
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      399 97
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