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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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  • Opus One (signs of past seepage) 1990  Front Label
    Opus One (signs of past seepage) 1990
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Oakville, Napa Valley, California
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    • Chateau Calon-Segur  1990  Front Label
      Chateau Calon-Segur 1990
      Bordeaux Red Blends from St. Estephe, Bordeaux, France
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      • Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (stained label) 1990 Front Label
        Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion (stained label) 1990
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Pessac-Leognan, Bordeaux, France
        • RP97
        • WS93
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      • Harlan Estate 1990  Front Label
        Harlan Estate 1990
        Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
        • WS95
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        Currently Unavailable $1,999.97
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