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Bordeaux Blends

One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine ...

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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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    Les Asteries 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP95
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    Tuck Beckstoffer Mad Hatter 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Rust en Vrede Stellenbosch Estate Red Blend 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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    Bond Vecina 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    De Toren Fusion V 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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    Clos L'Eglise Pomerol 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    Tenuta di Biserno Il Pino 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    Colgin IX Estate Red 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Bond Pluribus 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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    Dancing Hares 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Melka Wines Metisse Jumping Goat Vineyard 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
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    Futo 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Pavie Decesse 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    OVID (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Magrez Fombrauge 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Peter Michael Les Pavots 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Chateau Valandraud (3 Liter Bottle) 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Colgin Cariad 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Cheval Blanc Le Petit Cheval (3 Liter Bottle) 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Bellevue Mondotte (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    OVID 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Branon 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from North Coast, California
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    Realm Absurd The Gardener 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Troplong Mondot (3 Liter Bottle) 2005
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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