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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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  • Girard Artistry 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
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  • Vasse Felix Heytesbury Red Blend 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Australia
    • JS95
    • WE94
    • WS92
    • RP92
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  • St. Clement Oroppas 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS93
    Currently Unavailable $43.99
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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS94
    • WE91
    • RP90
    • CG90
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  • Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS94
    • TP93
    • RP91
    • WS90
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  • Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • V94
    • RP94
    • W&S94
    • WS91
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  • Viader Proprietary Red 2006
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS90
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  • Anderson's Conn Valley Vineyards Eloge 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • V93
    Currently Unavailable $79.99
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  • Paoletti Non Plus Ultra 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Calistoga, Napa Valley, California
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    • Trefethen Dragon's Tooth Red Blend 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        Currently Unavailable $45.99
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      • Chateau Quinault l'Enclos 1999
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
        • RP91
        Currently Unavailable $64.97
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      • Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
        • D94
        • WS92
        • JS92
        • WW92
        • W&S92
        Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      • Viader Proprietary Red 2005
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • WE92
        • WS91
        • RP90
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
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        90
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      • Poggio al Tesoro Sondraia 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
        • RP92
        • JS92
        • WS90
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      • Domaines Barons de Rothschild Legende Pauillac 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          Currently Unavailable $43.99
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        • Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2013
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
          • WE93
          • RP93
          • W&S93
          • JS92
          • WS90
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          56
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        • Vistalba Corte A 2012
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
          • JS92
          Currently Unavailable $56.99
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        • Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus 2012
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • RP93
          • WE90
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        • CARO 2013
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
          • JS96
          • W&S94
          • RP91
          • V90
          • WS90
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          65
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        • J. Bookwalter Protagonist 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
          • WE92
          • WS92
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        • Clos du Bois Marlstone 2013
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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          • Charles Krug Family Reserve Generations 2013
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • JS93
            • WS90
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          • Alta Quatreaux 2013
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • W&S92
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          • Scheid Vineyards Claret Reserve 2010
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Monterey, Central Coast, California
              Currently Unavailable $56.99
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            • Ravenswood Pickberry Vineyards 2011
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma County, California
                Currently Unavailable $41.99
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                41 99
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