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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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      Harlan Estate 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP100
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      • WS95
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      Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
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      4.4 12 Ratings
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      Bevan Cellars Sugarloaf Mountain 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Screaming Eagle Second Flight 2010
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Mount Veeder Winery Reserve Red 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
      • JS93
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      Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Kapcsandy Family Winery State Lane Vineyard Estate Cuvee 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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      Screaming Eagle Second Flight 2011
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
      • RP94
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      Colgin IX Estate Red 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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      Andrew Will Winery Sorella 2013
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
      • W&S95
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      The Mascot 2009
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Bryant Family DB4 2015
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Bevan Cellars Proprietary Red EE Tench Vineyard 2016
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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        Bevan Cellars Tench Vineyard EE 2013
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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        Blackbird Vineyards Paramour Napa Valley Proprietary Red 2015
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Andrew Will Winery Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
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        Blackbird Vineyards Arise Napa Valley Proprietary Red (375ML) 2016
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Niner Fog Catcher Red 2015
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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          Corliss Red 2011
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          Tenuta di Biserno Il Pino 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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          Quilceda Creek Palengat Proprietary Red Blend 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
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          Pascual Toso Finca Pedregal 2015
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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          Andrew Will Winery Ciel du Cheval 2013
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
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          De Toren Z 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Stellenbosch, South Africa
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            Alta Quatreaux 2014
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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