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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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    Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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    Lapostolle Clos Apalta 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
    • JS100
    • D94
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    Chateau Pontet-Canet 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    4.1 14 Ratings
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    Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Lapostolle Clos Apalta (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
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    Lapostolle Clos Apalta (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
    • JS100
    • RP95
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    Chateau Fonroque 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • JS90
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    Chateau Palmer 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    • RP92
    • D90
    4.1 17 Ratings
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    Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    4.6 9 Ratings
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    Lapostolle Le Petit Clos Apalta 2014
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Colchagua Valley, Rapel Valley, Chile
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      Chateau Saint Sulpice Rouge 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
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        Spring Mountain Vineyard Elivette 2004
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Lapostolle Clos Apalta (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
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        Vistalba Corte C 2016
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Mendoza, Argentina
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          Chateau Pontet-Canet 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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          4.5 15 Ratings
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          Volker Eisele Terzetto 2014
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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          Haras de Pirque Character Cabernet Sauvignon-Carmenere 2008
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Maipo Valley, Chile
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            St. Francis Claret 2015
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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              Neyers Left Bank Red 2016
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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                Shannon Ridge Buck Shack Red 2016
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Lake County, North Coast, California
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                Chateau Canon La Gaffeliere 2015
                Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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                J. Lohr Cuvee PAU 2014
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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                Halter Ranch Vineyard Ancestor Estate Reserve 2016
                Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
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                  Robert Sinskey Point of View 2014
                  Bordeaux Red Blends from Carneros, California
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