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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 St. Jean Cinq Cepages 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WS96
    • RP94
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    Currently Unavailable $137.97
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    137 97
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    Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $74.97
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    74 97
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    Flora Springs Trilogy 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.97
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    Beaulieu Vineyard Reserve Tapestry (torn label) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $99.97
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    Opus One (stained labels) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $399.97
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE95
    • W&S93
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    Currently Unavailable $408.97
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
    • WE95
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    Currently Unavailable $799.97
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    Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Sonoma County, California
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $49.97
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    Chateau La Mondotte 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP94
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $189.00
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    Opus One 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • WS94
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    Currently Unavailable $439.97
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    Dominus Estate 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Yountville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $229.97
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    229 97
    229 97
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    Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • RP92
    • WS90
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    Currently Unavailable $849.97
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    849 97
    849 97
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    Cosentino M. Coz Meritage 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
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    Currently Unavailable $64.97
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    Harlan Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum - signs of past seepage) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
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    Currently Unavailable $2,499.97
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    Castello dei Rampolla d'Alceo 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
    • WS98
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    Currently Unavailable $299.97
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    Ornellaia 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
    • JS97
    • WS95
    • RP93
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    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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    Peter Michael Les Pavots 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
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    Chateau Margaux 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
    • WS90
    • RP90
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    499 97
    499 97
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    Harlan Estate 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP100
    • WS97
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    Currently Unavailable $1,149.97
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    1,149 97
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    Clos Apalta 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Chile
    • JS96
    • RP93
    • WS91
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    Currently Unavailable $99.99
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    99 99
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    Dominus Estate (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1997
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $559.97
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    559 97
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