Learn about Bordeaux Blends — taste profile, popular regions and more ...
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired red 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 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.
- Pinot Noir212
- Cabernet Sauvignon90
- Other Red Blends59
- Rhône Blends33
- Bordeaux Red Blends15
- Petite Sirah4
- Tuscan Blends3
Balnaves The Blend 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
Chateau de Sours La Fleur d'Amelie 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Bordeaux, France
Arrogant Frog Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Languedoc, South of France, France
Yeringberg Cabernet Blend 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
Ken Forrester Petit Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
d'Arenberg The Stump Jump Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Villa Maria Private Bin The Red Blend 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
d'Arenberg The Galvo Garage 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Bond Vecina (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
Tower 15 The Swell Red Blend 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
Squawking Magpie SQM Big Red 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
Thorn-Clarke Shotfire Quartage 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Barossa, South Australia, Australia
Vidal Wines El Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand