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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 Cheval Blanc (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Petrus (1.5 Liter Magnum Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau L'Eglise Clinet (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Vieux Chateau Certan (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau La Mondotte (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Mouton Rothschild (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Margaux (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Angelus (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Pavie (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Figeac (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Margaux Pavillon Rouge (Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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