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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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    Chateau Leoville Las Cases (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Pontet-Canet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Lynch-Bages (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Ridge Monte Bello (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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    • CG94
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    Chateau Cos d'Estournel (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Pavie Macquin (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Orin Swift Cellars Papillon (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Clos Fourtet (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Leoville Poyferre (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Giscours (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Leoville Barton (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2017
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Pape Clement (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Leoville Barton (1.5 Liter Futures Pre-Sale) 2018
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Tour Saint Christophe (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Ferran (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Le Boscq (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau La Garde (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau La Garde (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Le Boscq (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Belgrave (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Belgrave (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2015
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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      Chateau Monbousquet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      Robert Mondavi Maestro (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2014
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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