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 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.
Opus One (corroded capsule) 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
Chateau Lafite Rothschild (1.5 Liter Magnum) OWC 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Latour (bin soiled labels) 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Palmer 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaux, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
Chateau La Tour Haut Brion 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Petrus 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Leoville Las Cases 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from St-Julien, Bordeaux, France
Chateau Ausone 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Emilion, Bordeaux, France
Chateau L'Evangile 1983Bordeaux Red Blends from Pomerol, Bordeaux, France