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Bordeaux Blends

Learn about Bordeaux Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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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.

Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends

Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. 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.

Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends

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 Secrets for Bordeaux Blends

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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    Andrew Will Winery Sorella (1.5 L) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Chateau Gloria (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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  • Avignonesi Desiderio (1.5L) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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  • Dry Creek Vineyard Meritage (1.5L) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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      Cullen Diana Madeline Cabernet Merlot (1.5 L) 1998
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Australia
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        Chateau Margaux (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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        Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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        Chateau Quinault l'Enclos (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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      • Chateau Lynch-Bages (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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      • Tenuta Guado al Tasso (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
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        Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (3 Liter) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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        Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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      • Dominus Estate (1.5 L) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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        Opus One (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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          Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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          Chateau Mouton Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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          Flora Springs Trilogy (1.5L) 1998
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WS89
          • RP88
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