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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 Mouton Rothschild 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Angelus 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP96
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    • WS93
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    Chateau La Couspaude 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
    • RP92
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    Chateau Beau-Sejour Becot 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Brown Lamartine 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • RP87
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    Chateau Palmer 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
    • RP91
    • WS90
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    Andrew Will Winery Sorella (1.5 L) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP91
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    Chateau Larmande St. Emillion 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • RP89
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  • Chateau Pitray Cotes de Castillon 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Cotes de Castillon, Bordeaux, France
    • RP86
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    Chateau Petrus 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    Girard Napa Red 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • RP90
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  • Chateau Lagrange 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
    • RP88
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  • Chateau Grand Mayne 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Larrivet Haut-Brion 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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  • Chateau Pichon-Longueville Baron (375ML half-bottle) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
    • W&S95
    • RP90
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    Chateau Cantenac Brown 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
    • RP88
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    Chateau La Croix du Casse 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
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    La Palazzola Rubino 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Italy
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    Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
    • RP91
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    Chateau Malescot Margaux 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
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    Arietta Red Blend 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Carneros, California
    • RP92
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  • Chateau de Reignac Cuvee Speciale 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
    • RP87
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    Joseph Phelps Insignia (1.5 Liter Magnum) 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
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    Chateau Coufran Haut-Medoc 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Medoc, Bordeaux, France
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    Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte 1998
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
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