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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 German Castillon Cotes de Bordeaux 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
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  • Mulderbosch Faithful Hound 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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  • Chateau Mayne Vieil 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau des Annereaux 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Lalande de Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Paloumey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau de Chantegrive 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Lilian Ladouys 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Capbern (Futures Pre-Sale) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Paloumey (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Charmail 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Fonreaud Listrac Medoc (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Beaumont (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Les Grands Chenes (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Senejac 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Belle-Vue 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Senejac 2012
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Haut Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Clement Pichon 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Marsau Cotes de Francs (Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Francs, Bordeaux, France
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