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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 Latour 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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      Bernardus Marinus Estate (scuffed labels) 1997
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
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        Rodney Strong Symmetry Meritage 1997
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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          Currently Unavailable $53.99
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          Flora Springs Trilogy 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • RP92
          • WS91
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          Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry (torn label) 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WS94
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          Opus One (stained labels) 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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          Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • RP100
          • WS97
          • WE95
          • W&S93
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          Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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          Chateau Monbousquet 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • RP92
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          Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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          Merryvale Profile (torn label) 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
          • WE92
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          Opus One 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
          • WS94
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          Chateau La Mondotte 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
          • RP94
          • WS90
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          Chateau Mouton Rothschild (stained label) 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
          • W&S94
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          Dominus Estate 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
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          • WS93
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          Chateau Cos d'Estournel 1997
          Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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            Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Proprietary Red 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
            • RP98
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            Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
            • RP90
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            Pride Mountain Vineyards Reserve Claret 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from North Coast, California
            • RP95
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            Inglenook Rubicon 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
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            Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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            Cosentino M. Coz Meritage 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
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            Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
            • RP100
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            Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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            Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1997
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
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            • RP94
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