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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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  • Buty Connor Lee Merlot Cabernet Franc 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP92
    • WS90
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  • Cenyth Red Blend 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • V91
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  • Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • RP98
    • W&S93
    • JS93
    • WS93
    • WE93
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  • Chateau Kirwan Les Charmes de Kirwan 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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    • Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS95
      • RP94
      • WS92
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    • J. Bookwalter Conner-Lee Vineyard Conflict Red 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • WE90
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    • Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Australia
      • JH95
      • JS93
      • W&S92
      • WE90
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    • Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • JS91
      • TP91
      • RP90
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    • De Toren Z 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Stellenbosch, South Africa
      • WS92
      • WE92
      Currently Unavailable $42.99
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    • Col Solare 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP94
      • V92
      • WE92
      • W&S91
      • WS90
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    • Poggio Scalette Capogatto 2012
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
      • WE90
      Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    • L'Ecole 41 Pepper Bridge Vineyard Apogee 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
      • RP93
      • WE91
      • WS91
      Currently Unavailable $49.99
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    • Robert Mondavi Maestro 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      • Poggio Scalette Capogatto 2011
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
        • WS94
        Currently Unavailable $69.98
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      • Rust en Vrede Stellenbosch Estate Red Blend 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
        • WE93
        • WS92
        • RP91
        Currently Unavailable $44.99
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      • Milbrandt Sentinel Red Blend 2012
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WE91
        • WS90
        Currently Unavailable $51.99
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      • DeLille D2 Estate Red 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • W&S94
        Currently Unavailable $42.99
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      • Cave Dog Red Wine 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • WW93
        Currently Unavailable $54.99
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      • Calcareous Vineyard Lloyd of Calcareous 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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        • Chateau La Dominique (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • JS94
          • D94
          • WE94
          • WS93
          • RP93
          Currently Unavailable $59.97
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          59 97
          59 97
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        • Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande Reserve de la Comtesse (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          • JS94
          • RP92
          • D92
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        • Chateau Vignot Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2009
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
            Currently Unavailable $59.99
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          • Foley Johnson Estate Rutherford Meritage 2013
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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            • Chateau La Dominique (Futures Pre-Sale) 2015
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • JS95
              • WE94
              • D92
              • RP92
              • WS92
              Currently Unavailable $49.97
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              49 97
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            • Chateau La Dominique 2010
              Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
              • WS94
              • JS94
              • WE94
              • RP93
              Currently Unavailable $66.99
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              66 99
              66 99
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