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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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    Avignonesi Desiderio (1.5 L) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
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    Chateau Margaux (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Peter Michael Les Pavots (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    • RP90
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  • Dominus Estate (1.5 L) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Dominus Estate (6 Liter Bottle) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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  • Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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    Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    • RP92
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    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Mouton Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP93
    • WS90
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    Ridge Monte Bello (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WS92
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    Chateau Monbousquet (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1999
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP94
    • WS91
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