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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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  • Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2016  Front Label
    Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2016
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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    • Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Red Blend 2016 Front Label
      Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Red Blend 2016
      Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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      • Indaba Mosaic 2016 Front Label
        Indaba Mosaic 2016
        Bordeaux Red Blends from South Africa
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        • Hayes Valley Meritage 2016 Front Label
          Hayes Valley Meritage 2016
          Bordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
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          • Alkoomi Cabernet-Merlot 2016  Front Label
            Alkoomi Cabernet-Merlot 2016
            Bordeaux Red Blends from Western Australia, Australia
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            • Tower 15 The Swell Red Blend 2016  Front Label
              Tower 15 The Swell Red Blend 2016
              Bordeaux Red Blends from Central Coast, California
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