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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 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 lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally 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 in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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    Chateau Latour 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    4.3 23 Ratings
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    Opus One 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    • WS93
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    Ornellaia 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS97
    4.1 10 Ratings
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    Dominus Estate 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JS98
    4.4 18 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $299.99
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    Mouton Cadet Ryder Cup Selection 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • WW89
    3.2 83 Ratings
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    Chateau Sansonnet 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • D91
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    Chateau Leoville Las Cases 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    4.1 16 Ratings
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    Chateau de Landiras 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Graves, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
    • WW93
    3.8 429 Ratings
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    Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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    4.9 10 Ratings
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    Clarendelle Inspired by Haut-Brion Medoc 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
    • JS92
    3.5 6 Ratings
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    Chateau Cheval Blanc 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    4.1 8 Ratings
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • JS96
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    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1996
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP100
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    Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2010
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    4.6 25 Ratings
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    Tenuta San Guido Guidalberto 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • JS95
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    4.9 5 Ratings
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    Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • JS97
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    • D94
    • WW93
    4.3 25 Ratings
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    Tour Saint Christophe Les Terrasses de Saint Christophe 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • D95
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    • JS90
    3.9 75 Ratings
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    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (torn labels) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP98
    • WS95
    • D94
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    Chateau Clos du Roy 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Fronsac, Bordeaux, France
    • JS93
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    • JD90
    3.7 32 Ratings
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    Chateau Siran 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    4.2 8 Ratings
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    Intrinsic Red Blend 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS94
    • JD90
    4.0 40 Ratings
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    Harlan Estate 2011
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Margaux 2000
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    4.6 6 Ratings
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    Brancaia Ilatraia 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    • WS92
    • WE92
    4.3 11 Ratings
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    • WS93
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