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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 Pasquet 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    • Chateau Busquet Lussac-St. Emilion 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
      • RP90
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    • Pascual Toso Barrancas 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
      • JS92
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    • Tour Saint Christophe Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
      • D95
      • WW92
      • JS90
      4.2 16 Ratings
      Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    • Chateau Lassegue Les Cadrans de Lassegue Grand Cru 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        5.0 1 Ratings
        Currently Unavailable $29.99
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      • Chateau Simard Saint-Emilion 2010
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • JS92
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        56 99
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      • Chateau Clerc Milon 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
        • WE93
        • JS90
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      • Petite Sirene 2015
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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